IForums 2011

 

Ideas, Issues, Inspiration, Innovation
 

Scholars from the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, Northeastern University and College of the Atlantic, and accomplished practitioners in fields ranging from green affordable housing to educating homeless teenagers came to the Lyceum Resource and Conference Center in 2011 for a probing public policy series presented by the Partnership for Strong Communities, "IForums: Ideas, Issues, Inspiration and Innovation for ending homelessness and creating complete communities."

IForum LogoThe free-of-charge, 9-session series focused on key issues explored in 2009 and 2010 by "Housing: The Hub of Public Policy," the Lyceum policy series that focused on the connection between homelessness and affordable housing creation and solutions to vexing problems in education, healthcare, transportation, environmental quality, human services and other disciplines.

Each forum featured a 30 minute talk by an expert followed by responses from panels of informed policymakers, lawmakers and scholars.

Five of the forums were devoted to particular issues in affordable housing policy and community development - transit-oriented development, exclusionary zoning, the loss of labor pool, food security and community supports, the future of Connecticut cities. Four focused on issues related to "Opening Doors," the new U.S. plan to end homelessness and Connecticut’s efforts to take advantage of resources provided by the new federal blueprint.

IForum Recap:

9/27/11: Changing Systems to End Homelessness
The 2011 IForum series ended strong with featured guests David Stroh of Bridgeway Partners and John McGah of Give US Your Poor presenting strategies on systems thinking and action, and leading dialogue on how to improve Connecticut’s systems related to homelessness.  Connecticut has a strong foundation of supportive housing creation, and a talented array of service providers, developers and shelters working to end homelessness.  Opening Doors/CT and other work is now building on this foundation with expanded approaches, including better coordination across policy areas, and measurement-based means of tracking results. Read more...

6/30/11: A Home's Not Just A House
Declaring that “food insecurity is the result of public policy” and “the good news is that public policy can be changed,” Prof. Molly Anderson highlighted the close connections between food insecurity, housing insecurity, energy insecurity and medical insecurity on June 30th at the Lyceum.  Anderson, a professor at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, has worked extensively on the issues of food insecurity, food politics, food rights, food sovereignty and sustainability metrics. Read more...

4/29/11: Ending Homelessness: The Vital Role of Business and Community Leaders
Discussing the importance of involving the business community in local efforts to end homelessness, Geraldine McCafferty, Springfield's Director of Housing, noted that "business leaders are great problem solvers." McCafferty's address on April 29th at the Lyceum was the latest of the IForum series and focused on the vital role of business and community leaders can play in ending homelessness in local communities. Read more...

4/26/11: Competitiveness, Connectivity and Community in Connecticut
Speaking about the need to align housing, transportation and environmental policy in order to be competitive in the global environment, noted developer Jonathan Rose addressed a full room at the Lyceum on Tuesday, April 26th. Rose's address, "Competitiveness, Connectivity and Community in Connecticut," focused on the need to embrace energy-efficient, multi-modal, mixed-income, mixed-use development that meets the needs of the today's market. Read more...

4/18/11: The Goal from Here: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans in Connecticut
Poignantly underscoring the commitment of veterans to the security of the United States, Asst. Veterans Affairs Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth told a capacity crowd at The Lyceum Monday that Connecticut and the rest of the nation must ensure housing and services for them. "We are all dishonored when a veteran sleeps on the same streets that he or she has defended," Duckworth, the assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said in Hartford Monday. "We are all dishonored when a veteran's family has to live in a shelter while he or she is out fighting for us. We need to fix that." Read more...

3/31/11: Reenergizing the Cities of New England
On Thursday, March 31, noted Harvard economist Edward Glaeser told more than 160 attendees at the Lyceum in Hartford that density in cities and other locations can bring together smart, creative residents who can enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of residents. Read more...

2/28/11: How Housing Insecurity Can Unravel Families, Opportunity and Educational Success
The tragic human impact and policy consequences of homelessness and housing instability among youth and families was illustrated at the Partnership's third IForum on February 28, featuring a keynote by Monica Brase, teacher at Hartford's Classical Magnet School, and an Christopher Donovan, Dept. of Children and Families(DCF) deputy commissioner Janice Gruendel, Casey Family Services' Kristina Stevens, and Institute of Living child psychiatrist Dr. Eric Cohen. Read more...

2/24/11: The Federal Plan to End Homelessness: How Opening Doors Can Succeed In Connecticut
The Obama Administration’s Opening Doors: the Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness lays a roadmap for federal and state government action to end homelessness, which was described eloquently by one of its principal authors, Jennifer Ho, Deputy Director of Accountability Management for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, at the Partnership’s second IForum on February 24. Read more...

1/31/11: The Struggle for Skilled Labor: How the States Will Fight for Young Workers and Economic Growth
In the kickoff to the 2011 IForum Series,  Northeastern University economist Barry Bluestone warned more than 125 attendees in a packed Lyceum that Connecticut’s economy will sink unless it counters demographic trends that show a region-leading decline of young, skilled workers. Read more...