Session 1: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
*Guests will choose from one of the following options:

Impact of Poverty and Homelessness on the Developing Brain: Why a Childhood of Play is Imperative
Speaker Dr. Evin Fox, Professor of Education, College of Southern Idaho will share the recent years of research on brain development in children. The focus of the presentation will be on the importance of play, why play is pivotal to childhood brain development and what the impact of poverty and homelessness has on young, developing brains.

At Risk of Homelessness: One Paycheck Away
Nora Carpenter, CEO and President of United Way of Treasure Valley, will discuss the results of the United Way’s latest “ALICE” (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained Employed) Study. This study examines the current cost of living for families in the state, broken down into detailed critical segments, and then compares that data to household incomes. Various segments of the population are studied by age, race, ethnicity, family size, etc. This United Way project shines a bright light on the hardworking members of our community who are unable to earn enough to afford the basic necessities of life. The most recent results will be released just prior to Ms. Carpenter’s presentation, so we will also be able to compare these to past results. We can see that the cost of living in Idaho, and especially in the Treasure Valley, is moving higher as our population grows. Join us to hear about how these changes are impacting the families who are most vulnerable.

Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World
This session, facilitated by Wendy Wong, will explain The Salvation Army’s wrap around service of helping clients overcome generational poverty through the Getting Ahead and Bridges Out of Poverty programs. These programs explore the 11 resources that people from poverty lack (it’s not all about the money!), the “hidden rules” of class as they relate to communication, and the Theory of Change and its important role in solving poverty for the long term vs. daily crisis management. Learn about this innovative program, based on the research-based books and teachings of Dr. Ruby Payne, and help to answer the question, “Why do people in poverty…?”

Session 2: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
*Guests will choose from one of the following options:

Idaho’s Street Children
This panel will discuss Idaho’s homeless children. Who are they? Where do they live? How do they survive? What challenges do they face? The panel is composed of three experts from Idaho schools. Suzanne Peck, Idaho State Department of Education, will provide an overview of the issue and services in Idaho. Tamra Vanegas, Boise School District’s Counseling and Social Work Supervisor, will discuss Boise District’s approach to serving homeless children. Amy Rust, LCSW, who works directly with at-risk children as a school social worker in Boise’s alternative schools, will help the audience understand the challenges these children face every day. The panel moderator is Carolyn Casey, a member of Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation and owner of Aha! Facilitating.

Affordable Housing: Key to Economic Stability and Community Prosperity
Speakers: Erik Kingston, PCED, Housing Resources Coordinator, Idaho Housing and Finance Association and Josh Scholer Policy Analyst, Idaho Asset Building Network
Housing stability and diversity are fundamental to healthy communities and economies, building social capital, and successful workforce development. Idaho’s communities still struggle to meet local housing demands a decade after the recession, while local residents and workers face increasing cost burdens. This session will explore the roots and ripple effects of the current crisis, challenges for residential development, and strategies to preserve and create housing that meets the needs and incomes of all community members.

Behavioral Health and Homelessness: The Trauma of the Street and Its Solutions
Wyatt Schroeder, Executive Director of CATCH , and Jeremy Blades, Director of Housing Services of CATCH swill discuss how homelessness impacts our community locally, and what remedies are in place or needed. What does someone living on the street go through? What is their paradigm for health? We will discuss some of the realities and traumas of experiencing homelessness. We will also offer the care-based solutions that can lessen that trauma and lead people to safe and stable housing.