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Community Town Hall Discussion Focuses on Homelessness

Panelist on stage kick off the community town hall event

The community Town Hall event began with a panel discussion that included experts from many regional organizations that work on housing and health services issues.

At the Community Town Hall panel discussion and community engagement event titled Exploring Solutions: Homelessness, Substance Use, & Mental Health, that took place on November 9, 2022, dozens of students, staff, faculty, and community members joined in a conversation about these complex and entwined challenges. Iman Hakim, Dean of the Zuckerman College of Public Health, gave the welcoming remarks.

We were very pleased to partner with Arizona Town Hall for this important community conversation, and we’re grateful for the work that Arizona Town Hall does to engage citizens all around the state to help find solutions for key issues.

We want to thank Mary Grier who reached out to the college to partner for this Town Hall, and also thank Elizabeth McNamee from Arizona Town Hall who was there to coordinate the table discussions.

In addition, we want to especially thank our panelists!

  • Catherine Miller, BS ‘22, who works as a Health Education Promotion Professional for the college’s Mobile Health Unit in Phoenix, and in that role works closely with the Street Medicine Phoenix program that brings health services to the homeless
  • Liz Morales, the Director of the Housing and Community Development Department for the City of Tucson
  • Mari Vasquez, Community Risk Reduction Manager for the Tucson Fire Department who also works directly with the City Manager’s Office on their Protocol efforts to help unsheltered individuals, as the Multi-Agency Resource Coordinator.
  • Kelli Donley Williams, MPH ’04, the Director of the Human Services Division at the Maricopa Association of Governments

For all of us who participated, the Town Hall was an engaging and eye-opening experience. The exchange of experiences and ideas led to insights into both the challenges and potential solutions when it comes to supporting our homeless populations and providing the services that can guide them to shelter and stability.

We want to thank everyone who participated, and all our dedicated professionals who work so hard to build programs that lead to safer and healthier communities where all people receive the care and support they need.

YouTube Icon Watch the Panel Discussion now on YouTube

Amber Richmond and Dean Hakim with the four panelist

MEZCOPH leadership welcomed the panelists. From left-to-right: Amber Richmond, Catherine Miller, Kelli Donley Williams, Iman Hakim, Mari Vasquez, Liz Morales.

Dean Hakim welcoming participants

Iman Hakim, Dean of the Zuckerman College of Public Health, welcomed the Town Hall participants.

Group of participants in a discussion

Elizabeth McNamee guided the table discussion process through a series of prompt questions.

Table exchanging perspectives and suggestions in response to the discussion questions

Each table exchanged perspectives and suggestions in response to the discussion questions, then one representative shared ideas and suggestions from the table with the whole Town Hall.

The University of Arizona red triangle graphic