CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has issued Executive Order 9-13 transferring the Interagency Council on Homelessness from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.
"Ending homelessness requires a collaboration among state agencies, local governments, the private sector and service provider networks to coordinate program development, deliver essential services and provide housing," said Gov. Tomblin. "I am confident the Council's collaboration with these groups will help reduce homelessness - improving the overall quality of life within our communities."
A recent study conducted by the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness indicates that there are 3,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in West Virginia, with 45 percent being families, 18 percent being chronically homeless, and 15 percent being veterans.
The objectives of the Council and the services it provides are well-matched to the Department of Health and Human Resources' mission. The Council will be chaired by the Commissioner of the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, or his or her designee, and will be comprised of the following additional seven members:
The Governor or his designee;
The Commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families, or designee;
The Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans' Assistance, or designee;
The Superintendent of the West Virginia Department of Education, or designee;
The Executive Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, or designee;
The Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, or designee; and
A representative from the Office of Economic Opportunity.
The Council will serve as a statewide homelessness planning and policy development resource for the Governor and the State of West Virginia. The Council will develop and implement a plan to prevent and end homelessness in the State of West Virginia-including evidence-based improvements to programs and policies to ensure services and housing are provided in an efficient, cost effective, and productive manner. The Council will also develop recommendations and strategies, oversee the implementation of the plan to ensure accountability and consistent results, as well as identify and maximize the leveraging of resources to improve the system of services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The Council will be supported by a workgroup to assist it in its duties and make recommendations to the Governor. The work group may be comprised of state agency staff, representatives of the state's continuum of care organizations, a statewide homeless advocacy group, and other public and private entities as determined by the council.
Forum to discuss impact of healthcare
CPA Brian Romine of PriceRomine, PLLC, will present "Healthcare Reform and the Small Business." The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m. with networking, refreshments and business displays. The educational portion of the program begins at 6:30 p.m.
Area small business owners and entrepreneurs who are confused by pending healthcare reform are invited to the Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs Forum on Dec. 5 at the Inn at Charles Town. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 304-728-3255 or visit jcda.net/entrepreneurs-forum.
AHA Looking for New Members
In 2013 the Arts & Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County mounted six art exhibits showing the work of local artists to the public, supported county teachers through the Teaching Arts Creatively grants, and assisted independent arts and culture projects in the county with Community Arts Impact Awards.
AHA also collaborated with Jefferson County artists in producing the first-everArtomatic@Jefferson, a month-long feast of visual, performing and literary arts with workshops, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and the pure exhilaration of so much art in one place.
Artomatic@Jefferson demonstrated not only the vibrant and diverse art in the region but also the support of the arts from the general public, who turned out in droves to see the exhibit, buy art, and attend the performances and readings.
AHA has more great things planned for 2014, including a member show, more exhibits, and a holiday party for members only.
Become a member of AHA and participate in all our activities. Membership is $35 per person.
Join before December 10 and come to our Holiday Party for members only.
Join or renew your membership online at www.ahajc.org or send your membership check to AHA, PO Box 2051, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.
Thank you for your support, The AHA Board of Directors
Compiled By James P. Whipple