HUD Presents Homelessness Symposium

Second Iowa Peer-to-Peer Symposium held at Drake

HUD Presents Homelessness Symposium

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Des Moines Field Office hosted the second annual two-day Iowa Peer to Peer Homeless Symposium during June 2014.  The symposium was held at Meredith Hall at Drake University Campus and was attended by over 135 participants from across four states representing 23 counties and 34 communities.

The symposium agenda was developed through the collaboration of an 18 member planning committee representing HUD and other Federal, State and Local partners from across Iowa, including PCHTF Executive Director Eric Burmeister.  The committee organized the agenda and speakers that encompassed nineteen different topics relating to homeless issues for both rural and urban settings.  The overall goal of the symposium was to increase collaboration and synchronization between Federal, State, and Local Governments as well as community organizations to achieve targeted reductions in homelessness.

In addition to PCHTF’s role in the planning committee, PCHTF staff presented at several sessions during the conference. Burmeister and Policy & Communications Coordinator Josh Hellyer presented a general session about the shortage of affordable units for extremely low income households. Both Burmeister and Hellyer also participated as panelists in several discussions related to homelessness and affordable housing issues.

Des Moines Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie, HUD Regional Administrator Jennifer Tidwell, and HUD Field Office Director Steve Eggleston thanked participants for attending the symposium and welcomed them to the City of Des Moines.  Participants also heard from Jesse Vazzano, National Director, HUD-VA Supportive Housing, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, through video conferencing technology.