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FGCU Hosts Annual Conference on Homelessness May 12
4/27/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - The Southwest Florida Coalition for the Homeless conducts its annual conference 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 12 at Florida Gulf Coast University for the public, professionals, advocates and members of the media to discuss Southwest Florida's homeless issues and solutions. Registration and breakfast begins 8:30 a.m. in Alico Arena.

The program features leaders in homeless programming and policy who speak with an emphasis on the needs of Southwest Florida.

President and CEO of Lee Memorial Health Systems Jim Nathan presents "Healthcare: The Perfect Storm" regarding how from the homeless to the working uninsured to the aging population, Southwest Florida is sailing into the Perfect Storm.

Executive director of the Florida Office of Homelessness Tom Pierce gives a state account, and local directors give county reports.

Breakout sessions include information about motivational enhancement with individuals who are homeless, criminalization and dangers of homelessness, homeless youth, healthcare and homelessness, human trafficking, substance abuse realities and recovery, an HIV/AIDS update and rural homelessness.

For up to two participants, general registration is $40 each in advance or $45 at the door. For three or more, general registration is $35 each in advance or $40 at the door.

Student registration is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Registration includes meals and materials.

Mental health and substance abuse professionals are eligible for four Continuing Education Units. The fee is $10 for each certificate.

As one of 15 district homeless coalitions mandated by the Florida Legislature, the Southwest Florida Coalition for the Homeless consists of approximately 200 members from Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties. The homeless coalitions assist the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to coordinate services for the homeless.

Additional information about the conference and a brochure is available online at http://cps.fgcu.edu/homeless.

For more information, media representatives should contact Southwest Florida Coalition for the Homeless executive director Carmen G. Pérez at (239) 590-7828.

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