Homelessness; Moving from Problems to Opportunities

Homelessness; Moving from Problems to Opportunities

On Tuesday, August 9, 2022, diverse religious faith leaders, elected officials, heads of non-profit organizations, and faith community members gathered at the United Islamic Center of Arizona to learn and discuss homelessness and how to move from problems to opportunities.

The meeting was organized and sponsored by the Multifaith Neighbors Network of Arizona.

The meeting started with a welcome, prayer, and some Islamic teaching remarks on poverty and homeless from Imam Didmar Faja. The Director of MFNN of Arizona, Tyler Hudgins elaborated more on the objectives of the gathering and introduced the first panel of discussion that was made of Christian clerics, community activists, and non-profit organization leaders who constantly work tirelessly with the poor, neglected, and the homeless. They spoke about the existing day-to-day challenges and presented the street bitter realities of those living in such conditions.

Tyler also introduced the second panel of speakers, the elected officials. They also spoke about their challenges and presented to the attendees the efforts they have been making in combating homelessness.From those present among the elected officials were the mayor of the city of Scottsdale, David Ortega, the previous mayor of the town of Gilbert, John Lewis, City of Tempe council member, Doreen Garlid, the chief of staff of the city of Scottsdale, David Simmons, human services director for the city of Tempe, Paul Bentley, and the human services director for the city of Scottsdale, Greg Bestgen.

In the future, there will be other gatherings organized by MFNN of Arizona where the attendees will have the opportunity to discuss more ways to utilize the community means and government resources to reduce homelessness.