SP2 conference seeks end to homelessness

Homeless Conference

According to a 2005 study by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, an estimated 100 million people across the world are completely homeless.

Imagine a world where each and every person has a safe, affordable, and adequate home in which to live, a world where the term “homelessness” is erased from the lexicon, and, like smallpox, eradicated from human history.

In an effort to reach such a place, Penn is hosting an international conference on Monday, June 3, and Tuesday, June 4, that will focus on the public policies and personal ways that individuals can help bring an end to homelessness.

Held in Houston Hall, the “International Homelessness Research Conference: Advancing the Policy and Practice of Crisis Response Systems” welcomes researchers and advocates from around the world to deliver their perspectives on homeless policy, interventions, and effective programs.

Nearly 75 presenters will introduce their latest research on homelessness prevention, permanent supportive housing programs, outreach activities, risk profiles for veterans and homeless families, and system gaps. Advocates will also share their views on what is needed most from the research community.

Conference organizer Dennis Culhane, a professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice and research director for the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, says that establishing connections and exchanging information about what works between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners is vital to their overall mission of combating homelessness.

Secretary Shaun

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will deliver a noontime keynote address on June 3 in Houston Hall.

“Internationally, we’ve been collaborating on many important innovations to focus on homelessness, including efforts at prevention and ‘housing-first’ strategies for people who experience long-term homelessness,” says Culhane, who is also the Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy. “This conference enables us to share the results with each other, and with a larger audience.”

During the first day of the conference, Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will deliver a noontime keynote address outlining the Obama Administration’s second-term priorities for addressing homelessness.

Day two of the conference will feature speakers from the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands, and closing remarks from Culhane.   

The cost of the conference is $200, which includes continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon refreshments each day, with an early evening reception on June 3 at the Penn Museum. The fee is waived for conference committee members, Veterans Affairs employees, and PennCard holders, but seating is limited.

To register, contact Nora Hunt-Johnson at 215-823-5800 ext. 7087 or email huntjohn@upenn.edu.

Originally published on May 23, 2013