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Pepperdine School of Public Policy to Host Homeless America Conference

Homeless man sleeping on the ground

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at the California Market Center Rooftop Terrace in Downtown Los Angeles, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy will host a conference examining the homelessness crisis in California and across the country. The conference will feature top speakers and experts from Los Angeles and around the country who will explore how the public sector and nonprofit leaders are taking a variety of approaches to responding to this epidemic.

Keynote speakers will include Stephen Eide, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal; Byron Johnson, co-executive director of Pepperdine’s Center for Faith and the Common Good and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Religious Studies and the Common Good at the School of Public Policy; Robert Marbut, a renowned expert on homelessness and a senior fellow of Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth & Poverty; and Michele Steeb, author and former fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

The conference will also feature panelists Rick Cole, chief deputy controller for the City of Los Angeles; Matthew Dildine (‘04, JD '08, MMP ‘08), CEO of the Fresno Mission; Kevin Faulconer, former mayor of San Diego; Elizabeth Mitchell (JD ’07), a partner at the Umhofer Mitchell & King LLP law firm; Jim Palmer, founder and CEO of Hurtt Family Health Clinic and president and CEO of American Dream Communities; Brian Ulf, CEO of the Self-Help And Recovery Exchange in Los Angeles; Soledad Ursua, a finance professional and elected board member of the Venice Neighborhood Council; and Brandon Young, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

According to Johnson, the conference is an opportunity for leaders and change makers to examine the issue of homelessness through a variety of policy domains, including housing accessibility, mental health services, and public safety, and to find ways to enact lasting and impactful change for the community.

“At a time when homelessness has become a national problem facing urban as well as rural communities, it is important we begin to take an objective look at those efforts that give us the best chance of effectively addressing this weighty social problem,” shares Johnson. “This conference provides a glimpse into some of those best practices that are worthy of serious consideration by practitioners and policymakers alike.”

The conference, “Homeless America: Creative and Compassionate Responses to a Cross-Sector Challenge” will begin at 11:30 AM and conclude with a reception at 5:15 PM. This event is sponsored by Fieldstead and Company.