Bishop Kicanas Calls for Community Meeting on Homelessness

Safe Park

Safe Park, downtown Tucson

Bishop Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson has called for a second public meeting to discuss homeless in Tucson. Here is the information about tomorrow’s meeting.

Background information…

Tuesday, March 10 at 11:00 a.m.

TEP building, 88 E. Broadway between 6th and Scott Avenues
second-floor conference room (entrance faces Broadway near west end of building)

This meeting has been scheduled at the request of Bishop Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson. This is a second meeting– according to Tucson News Now,

The Catholic diocese organized a meeting to discuss the growing homeless population downtown, on Monday afternoon [March 2].

The meeting included city and county leaders, business owners, and leaders from many non-profit groups in Tucson who work with the homeless.

In an interview with Tucson News Now after the meeting, Bishop Gerald Kicanas called on Tucson residents to be compassionate, as the city worked to find a long term solution to address the needs of the homeless, and find a solution that would help business owners who were frustrated with the problem.

The Downtown Tucson Partnership is helping to spread the word. According to DTP executive director Michael Keith, who is involved in developing a program for the meeting, the bishop wishes to “maintain the momentum” of the March 2 meeting as well as other community discussions looking to “move past the Occupy Safe Park issue and begin to look for meaningful strategies to address homelessness across Tucson.”

Keith said Peggy Hutchison, CEO of Primavera Foundation, will present information on the current local situation, and Michele Ream of Community Supported Shelters will share her presentation on scattered-site microhousing efforts in other areas and other “best practices.” The Mayor and Council’s action on March 3 (see below) and the Denver urban camping ordinance will likely be subjects of discussion.

The following is from the action summary of the March 3 Mayor & Council study session (http://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1358&doctype=SUMMARY):

“It was moved by Council Member Kozachik and duly seconded to direct staff to pursue an alternate site [for the Veinte de Agosto Park protest/encampment] and pursue an urban camping ordinance modeled on the Denver example, from the City Attorney’s handout.

It was requested by Council Member Romero, and accepted by the motion maker, to include a discussion with various business organizations and Pima County regarding an alternate site.

The motion was CARRIED by a voice vote of 7 to 0.”

One response to “Bishop Kicanas Calls for Community Meeting on Homelessness

  1. I attended today’s meeting. I hope that this will lead to an effort by Tucson’s power structure to end homelessness in Tucson. Utah has now virtually eliminated homelessness, using a strategy called “Housing First”. Tucson has the means to do so as well, it just hasn’t had the political will.