Friday, March 11, 2011
Second Community Workshop on Ending Homelessness in Sarasota
This afternoon, Friday March 11, was the second community workshop in support of the ten year plan to prevent and end homelessness in Sarasota county. We again had a strong turnout of people willing to work, including lots of newcomers and a number of citizens who are presently homeless. The Church of the Redeemer was again our most gracious host and I thank them
Five work groups met for 90 minutes while I led a discussion group made up of three people sleeping in the woods and seven folks who had shelter. Both men who are presently homeless were eager to work despite suffering recent long term unemployment. One gentleman had a successful career as a surveyor but now can’t find work of any type. The other man had recently secured employment, saved enough for rent, but couldn’t afford the deposits. He’s still homeless, as was a plucky sixty-three year old woman who told us about living in her tent, how she spends a cold night, and the lack of anything productive for her to do during the day.
The work groups reported back at the end of the afternoon and everyone seemed to have made significant progress. There is a lot of talent in the room and good ideas are emerging and assignments given out and completed. For the next community meeting, we will be in Venice at the South County commission chambers located in the R.L. Anderson complex, on Friday March 25th at 1:30. Then we will be back in Sarasota on April 8th at the Church of the Redeemer again.