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The Women’s Fund sees huge turnout for forum on homelessness

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By Laura Christman

Tackling homelessness in Redding will require compassion, collaboration and champions, Lloyd Pendleton told a packed auditorium in Redding Feb. 11.

“Let’s get over this idea of ‘those people,’” said Pendleton, a key player in dramatically dropping the rate of chronic homelessness in Utah.

Don’t judge or condemn the homeless, he stressed at a community forum presented by The Women’s Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation in partnership with the Record Searchlight and Shasta Community Health Center. Pendleton said people without homes are still people – citizens of the community “who are suffering and in need of hope.”

Thursday’s event at Sequoia Middle School was the 16th community forum sponsored by The Women’s Fund and the best attended. The 774-person-capacity McLaughlin Auditorium was nearly filled. Women’s Fund Chairwoman Denise Yergenson described the forum as a success, praising Pendleton for being inspiring and informative.

“The audience was so engaged,” she said. “We collected a two-inch stack of cards with comments, questions and concerns.”

Pendleton held management positions at Ford Motor Co. and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Welfare Department, and was director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force. He’s an advocate for Housing First, a strategy that offers homes and hope to the homeless.

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