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Mayor’s Summit on Homelessness set for Thursday

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson
The Mayor’s Summit on Homelessness is set for July 18 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Education Room of the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts.

“In general, it’s to present to the community a conversation about the model Amarillo is using in its Coming Home program -- and that is Housing First.

“The idea behind that is you put someone in housing, and from there, once they’re housed, you can begin to meet their needs, such as medical, job placement and addiction treatment," Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson said.

The summit will feature Dr. Sam Tsemberis, Ph.D. Dr. Tsemberis is a clinical psychologist who developed the “Housing First” model, which is used by the City of Amarillo. Dr. Tsemberis serves as president of the Pathways Housing First Institute in Los Angeles and also serves as Executive Director of the VA-UCLA Center of Excellence for Training and Research at the Greater Los Angeles VA. Dr. Tsemberis is on the faculty Department of Psychiatry, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Tsemberis has received wide recognition for his work, including the American Psychiatric Association’s Gold Award for Community Mental Health Programs, the Distinguished Contribution to Independent Practice Award from the American Psychological Association and the Meritorious Service Cross from the Government of Canada.

“Amarillo takes a proactive approach to the issue of homelessness,” said City of Amarillo Director of Community Development Juliana Kitten. “We look for permanent solutions to the problem of homelessness. This summit will help provide valuable information and a much-needed public discussion as Amarillo moves forward in its effort to end homelessness.”

Discussion will include the current state of the homeless population in Amarillo, including the chronically homeless, youth and veterans. Dr. Tsemberis will take questions from summit attendees.

The Mayor’s Summit on Homelessness is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited, and information on how to attend will be made available. The summit will be live-streamed via City of Amarillo social media.

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