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National Symposium on Homelessness

Next Wednesday, March 17, St. Edwards University will be hosting the National Symposium on Homelessness: Where is HOME and how do we get there? Events will begin at 8:30 and end at 4pm.

Hear from some of Austin’s homeless about their daily challenges and concerns; Meet service providers in the trenches working tirelessly to improve conditions for the homeless; Learn the results of the first face-to-face homeless survey which draws a true profile of Austin’s homeless population; Come be motivated to implement real solutions; Featuring Keynote Speakers: Steven Bouma – Prediger and Brian J. Walsh – authors of groundbreaking book Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement.

Free parking available onsite. Lunch will be provided by Stubb’s Legendary Foods, with a vegetarian option available at registration. Tickets are $18 per person; $30 includes a ticket and a copy of Beyond Homelessness; $100 includes 6 tickets and two copies of Beyond Homelessness. To purchase tickets and read more about the symposium, go here.

To read a heartfelt letter from Tom Spenser, CEO of AAIM, please click
Dear People of Trinity United Methodist,

Homelessness is an issue that affects all Americans, no matter how comfortable and well-provisioned our lives may seem.  Of course we understand that that there are “homeless” people in our community — we see individuals panhandling on street corners or waiting outside of the downtown shelters on cold days.

But how many of us are truly “at home” in the deepest sense of that phrase?  Are we genuinely rooted in our communities and committed to our places?  Or, do we look at any place as being just a stepping stone to another “better” place?

These are big, audacious questions that go to the heart of a different kind of “homelessness” and the source of so much of the displacement we see on our streets.

Next week, on Wednesday, March the 17th, our friends at Mobile Loaves and Fishes, who do so much to serve the homeless individuals in our community, are hosting a National Symposium on Homelessness titled “Where is HOME and How Do We Get There?”

This event will feature the authors of the book Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement, Steven Bouma – Prediger and Brian J. Walsh.

I am writing to recommend this event not only to our friends in the Christian community, but also to our diverse brothers and sisters from all of the great faith traditions represented under the AAIM umbrella.  While the authors are writing from a distinctively Christian perspective, they have identified key cultural break-downs that are causing much of the homelessness we see around us.  I know that each of the world’s great religious traditions addresses these cultural issues in their own powerful and distinct ways and hope that we can all learn from one another as we try to respond to the crisis of displacement and rootlessness on our streets.

I encourage you to participate in this important symposium and listen for ways that your own faith community can respond to the deepest challenges of homelessness in our midst.

In peace,

Tom Spencer

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