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Homelessness is a “multi-dimensional” problem of extreme poverty. It cannot be solved by emergency shelter and housing vouchers alone. The homeless need specialized help to get the education and skills they need to succeed in today’s dynamic job market.

Dr. Nunez_lo-res“The real, radical answer to homelessness,” says Dr. Ralph da Costa Nunez, president of the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, “is the most basic — education and work.”

The problem of homelessness is “multi-dimensional,” Dr. Nunez points out. Simply providing housing is only a “one dimensional” response. Every case of homelessness has multiple causes springing from the root cause of extreme poverty.

Today, Dr. Nunez says, there are fewer “haves” and “have somes” but a lot more “have nothings,” including families who have lived in emergency shelters for two generations or more.

Dr. Nunez is the opening keynote speaker at Saffron Strand’s 6th Annual Homeless Workforce Conference — “Moving Beyond Barriers and Back to Work” – which takes place June 15-16 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium in Richmond, California.

“People without homes don’t need housing vouchers,” Dr. Nunez stated in a recent blog in The Huffington Post. “They need jobs that will support dignity, financial independence, and ultimately, homes of their own.”

Research at the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) based in New York City covers all 50 states and documents the growing prevalence of child and family homelessness in America, exploring housing, employment, education, health, and child welfare. Low-skill, low-wage jobs are disappearing, being replaced by digital technology and automation. Going forward, the only way to ensure marketable job skills is through education.

In his June 15 keynote, Dr. Nunez will focus on “how to break the toxic cycle of poverty and homelessness that traumatizes thousands of families and costs… billions.”

For example, he envisions the future homeless shelter as a “residential community resource center,” including daycare services, after-school programs, alternative high school for parents, and job training – in effect, a “residential educational facility.”

Saffron Strand’s annual Homeless Workforce Conference is the nation’s only forum to provide the necessary specialized employment services training for professionals and others who work with homeless and chronically unemployed people trying to re-enter the workforce.

This Conference provides unique continuing education for those working in the fields of employment, health care, and housing services — everyone assisting the homeless, hard-to-employ, and long-term unemployed.

For 2015 Conference registration and overview, lodging, options, and schedule, click here.

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