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Homelessness in the Heartland

2nd Annual Nebraska/Western Iowa Symposium on Homelessness

On August 6-8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Omaha Field Office, in collaborative partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care Systems, held the 2nd Annual Nebraska/Western Iowa Symposium on Homelessness in Kearney, Nebraska.

The theme for this year’s symposium was “Homelessness in the Heartland,” and emphasis this year on homelessness in rural communities.  During the 2-day symposium, 115 persons participated, representing approximately 40 or so various agencies from across the state. 

Neal Criddle, Victoria Harris and Tammy Jeffs

Neal Criddle, Executive Director of The Connection Homeless Shelter; Victoria Harris, business owner and former homeless; Tammy Jeffs Community Action Partnership (CAP) Mid-NE

Dr. Marci Mylan, Director of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, presented a luncheon keynote address on August 6, and Victoria Harris, current small business owner and formerly homeless, provided one of the events highest moments in sharing her personal triumph over homelessness. 

Additionally, numerous rural homeless service providers shared words of thankfulness and expressed appreciation for HUD/VA bringing the event to a more rural area of the state.   

Local media coverage of the event.