The first meeting of the Famvin Homeless Alliance Commission was held in Chicago on November 20-21, 2017. The Commission comprises representatives of the Vincentian Family and people named because of their knowledge and proven expertise in the area of homelessness. They will advise the Homeless Alliance on its work and strategy through biannual meetings.

The Commission members are: Fr Robert Maloney (Congregation of the Mission); Sr Carol Keehan (Daughter of Charity; US Catholic Health Association); Graham West (National President, SSVP Australia); Marco Iazzolino (Thouret Foundation and the Housing First Italian Network); Rosanne Haggerty (Community Solutions).

Further appointments will be made to broaden the expertise of the Commission in the coming months.

The meeting was hosted at the residence of the Vincentian fathers at DePaul University. Fr Patrick Murphy CM, Emeritus Professor at DePaul University, extended his typical hospitality to all involved and the Alliance is profoundly grateful for his generosity and support.

The Commission was also joined by Alliance staff members and by representatives of several partners crucial to its work – Guillermo Campuzano (CM representative at United Nations); Molly Seeley (Institute of Global Homelessness); and Molly Burhans (GoodLands Project).

All aspects of the Homeless Alliance’s remit were discussed – street homelessness, refugees and internally displaced persons, and slum dwellers. The Commission discussed papers on the work of St Vincent in these areas and on current understanding and practice. It discussed the extensive work already carried out by the Vincentian family and how this might be extended and improved to further fulfil our mission to serve and love the very poorest. Future plans were also discussed, including the upcoming Rome Symposium which will focus on how we can better reflect homelessness in Catholic Social Teaching.

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