SMCF is proud to have been a sponsor of the Littleton Community Forum on Homelessness, held Oct. 21, 2021. Other sponsors were Change The Trend, GraceFull Café and the City of Littleton.
SMCF is raising funds to establish a Tri-Cities Homeless Navigation Center where unhoused people can be directed to helpful services leading to permanent housing and stability.
The event attracted more than 200 community members in person or virtually, who heard from an amazing panel of speakers:
- Jodie Nicholls, owner of local business Lollygag Antiques & Boutique
- Dane Fowler, clinical supervisor, AllHealth Network
- Commander Hal Mandler, Littleton Police Department
- Andrea Martin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and co-responder with police on calls
- Samma Fox, assistant to the Littleton City Manager
- Sandra Blythe-Perry, Executive Director of InterFamily Community Services
- Jeanne Hildreth, liaison with homeless families for Littleton Public Schools
- Paula McFadden, a homeless person.
Members of the panel all agreed that the number of homeless people has increased in the Tri-Cities of Littleton, Engelwood and Sheridan. They emphasized that people who are unhoused are people first, with unique needs. Some have mental or physical health issues. Many have suffered some sort of trauma. Job loss and the cost of housing are among major issues resulting in homelessness. While many services are available, many unhoused people don’t know how to access them.
All speakers emphasized the need to treat homeless individuals with kindness and compassion, speaking to them and getting to know them so that when an issue arises, it can be dealt with in a compassionate way.
A link to a recording of the program is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfygKhd1lMI