FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2011
Contact: Rusty Kennedy, Phone: (714) 567-7465
City of Fullerton Striving to Improve System of Care Launches the Fullerton Task Force on Homelessness and Mental Health Services, on Thursday, October 20, 4:00 pm @ the Fullerton Public Library
In the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas tragedy, the City of Fullerton is working to learn from this incident and make a change in the community. The City Council asked OC Human Relations to facilitate a task force of Fullerton residents and homeless/mental health experts to better understand the current situation of the mentally ill homeless and identify how the community might do better in the future.
The Task Force will look at best practices and services offered by the city, county, non-profit organizations, the faith based community, and other public/private organizations. Over the next six months this group will assess the current state of homelessness in Fullerton and the availability of mental health services. The City Manager recommended and the City Council appointed a broad cross section of homeless and mental health professionals, individuals with family members who experience homelessness and/or mental illness, the business community, law enforcement officials, and city and county representatives. Additional members have been added to ensure inclusiveness.
The task force will meet the first and third Thursday of each month starting tomorrow at 4pm. They plan to host forums – called community listening conferences – to solicit public input and identify the best practices moving forward. Thursday’s meeting will hear about community listening conferences led by Task Force members from the Fullerton Interfaith Ministerial Alliance, OCCCO and the Fullerton Collaborative about homelessness prevention and protection of the mentally ill. It will address how we feel in the aftermath of Kelly’s death, what current services are available, what can be improved, and what an ideal system would look like.
In six months the Task Force will report back to the City Council with recommendations for next steps in improving how the mentally ill and homeless are cared for in Fullerton. About OC Human RelationsSince 1971, OC Human Relations has worked to build bridges of understanding to promote a vision of our community where all people are valued and included and out diversity is realized as a source of strength. For more information, visit www.ochumanrelations.org.Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ochumanrelations or Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WeAreOneOC.
Rusty Kennedy, Executive Director
OC Human Relations
1300 S. Grand, Bldg BSanta Ana, CA 92705