"Under the Bridge: Homeless Summit". Sometimes it's easier to let the tail wag the dog. In television we create titles and graphics when we want to produce a special report or project. The response I had to my blog yesterday suggesting it was time for us to hold a summit to solve the problem of homelessness in Syracuse inspired me to create a concrete image to see if the idea can turn into reality.
I had Facebook exchanges with a homeless advocate, a lawyer for the disadvantaged and a woman with significant research and study to back up her belief in some different solutions. I also got a call from one of the major social helping agencies in town that deals with the homeless problem. Everyone agrees the deaths of Tim Wilkins and Michelle Noce in separate incidents over the last two weeks is a spark that should ignite change in our community. Whatever is being done no longer meets the standard of acceptable when being homeless turns into a sentence to untimely death.
So we have a title, a graphic and experts interested in talking out some solutions. This is an event that needs to take place very soon to take advantage of the momentum of the freshness of the tragedy. It needs a location. It needs an all encompassing guest list.
The summit needs those sheets of white paper (or an electronic equivalent) where ideas are put on the board. The summit needs specific leaders with expertise on where we stand in our community and what is being done. The summit needs full detail on the Housing and Homeless Committees ten year plan. Time is ticking.
I will gladly moderate, maybe even agitate and challenge people to move further in creating an action plan that can work. I'm sure we can shake loose media coverage, reporters who are willing to tell the stories of those gathered in the room.
Oh, I nearly forgot. Among all the experts in the room we'll make sure that some of those guys with the cardboard signs on the street corner get a chance to come inside and tell us their story too. They can all be part of "Under the Bridge: Homeless Summit" as we see if something strong in substance can be pulled from a title and a graphic that are ready to go.
Any questions or comment please forward them to mattsmemo@CNYcentral.com . I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on CNYcentral.com.
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