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AUGUST 9 FRIDAY FORUM ADDRESSES

THE HOMELESS AMONG US


Many of us may be living on the edge of financial solvency, stretching our Social Security checks to the max or perhaps only two paychecks away from homelessness, but thousands of Marion Countians nevertheless open their hearts and live their faith by applying the Golden Rule in great measure to the less fortunate with substantial contributions of their time, talent and monies. However, as the factors that drive homelessness increase, so must the communitys efforts not only to meet basic needs but to help integrate as many as possible into productive society. The Rev. Jim Kuse, retired Methodist minister and chairman of Interfaith Emergency Services, will moderate a panel representing faith, school and veteran constituencies when community leaders and clients of Marion Countys homeless resources come together at the August 9 Friday Forum to discuss the good news and the bad concerning our homeless population. The speaker/ luncheon series meets on the second Friday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at Buffet City, Rte. 200 and MLK Jr. Blvd. in Ocala. Karla Grimsley, executive director of Interfaith Emergency Services, will begin the discussion with an update on efforts to establish Open Arms Village also known as Tent City. She then will introduce current IES resident Jennie Beaty after which Martin Andy Scully will describe his ascent from former incarcerated addict to work with Operation Clean Start. A member of First United Methodist Church in Ocala, Mr. Scully will begin his studies for the ministry at Asbury Seminary in Orlando next month. Suzanne McGuire, liaison for homeless children in the Marion County school system, will bring us up to date on the numbers and efforts to aid a largely unseen population thought to number at least two thousand . Volunteers for America Independent Living Counselor Shawnta Walker and Health Service Manager Dolly Rodriguez who work with veterans housed at The Ritz will be joined by resident Michael Moran in a discussion of the communitys response to the needs of elderly and returning veterans. A Q and A will follow with questions and/or comments limited to three minutes per person until everyone has a chance to speak. Please email FridayForumofMarioncounty@gmail.com or telephone Delphine Herbert (352/873-9970) or Jan Lentz (352/425-6219) for more information. The $10 luncheon fee, payable directly to the restaurant, includes the buffet, a drink, tax and tip. Everyone is welcome; RSVPs are appreciated.