We just received a reminder that next week, from Tuesday to Friday, Dallas is home to an enormous and enormously influential annual conference devoted to homelessness and urban poverty. Beginning September 4 at the Omni Dallas Hotel Park West, the Texas Homeless Network will host "Face the Homeless: A Call to Action" -- for which you'll need some $325 to $400 to attend, and at this late date registration's available only at the door. But if you want a sneak peek at the topics of discussion -- which will include everything from "Homeless in the Suburbs" (featuring representatives from Samaritan House) to "Homeless Children and School Attendance" -- you can download the entire program here.
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The item in which we're most interested, at the moment, is the Thursday-morning basic-needs panel featuring Larry James, president and CEO of Central Dallas Ministries; it'll be moderated by Jody Dean. Their panel will be followed by the conference's keynote speaker: Dr. Rudy Arredondo, former chairman of the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and the current director of the Southwest Institute for Addictive Diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. And even the downtime diversions at this thing sound a little dispiriting: During the conference, attendees are scheduled to take in a Texas Rangers' game against the Kansas City Royals. They deserve so much better. --Robert Wilonsky