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CSU-Pueblo hosts forum on cannabis and homelessness April 12

Release Date: April 04, 2017

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Colorado State University - Pueblo hosts forum on cannabis and homelessness April 12

PUEBLO – The College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ (CHASS) Center for Social and Economic Justice and the Cannabis Policy Initiative at Colorado State University-Pueblo will host a presentation on trends in homelessness by Dr. Donald Burnes, founder and board chair of The Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness at the University of Denver. The discussion, “Cannabis and Homelessness: Fact vs. Fiction,” will begin at noon on April 12 in Psychology 205.The event is free and open to the public. Participants are invited to bring their lunch with them to the forum.

The mission of Burnes Center at DU is to inform policymakers and practitioners about issues related to homelessness, to impact policies and practices, and to transform the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The vision and values of the Burnes Center are:

Through the work of the Institute, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are empowered to live full lives of their choosing.

  • Everyone deserves a home and access to needed services.
  • Improving policy and practice to maximize opportunities for improved lives requires outcomes-based and data-driven information.
  • Identifying and utilizing best and evidence-based practices are impossible without quality data and evaluation.
  • Policy makers and practitioners need to be able to utilize data-driven information.

Burnes spent much of his professional career in the field of educational research and evaluation with a special focus on the education of poor and disadvantages children, working both for the federal government in Washington and for the Education Commission of the States in Denver. In 1986, he became the Executive Director of the Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington (DC), a church-sponsored nonprofit organization serving the poor and homeless. Following his three years of work there, he and his late wife wrote A Nation in Denial: The Truth about Homelessness, published in 1993. They spent the next two years traveling throughout the U. S., speaking to various groups and working with states and local communities helping them establish appropriate services for the homeless.

Following his wife’s death in 2003, Burnes returned to Denver and became involved with the development and implementation of Denver’s 10-year Plan to End Homelessness. He also joined the Board of the Metro Denver Homelessness Initiative for several years, and he served on the Governor’s Council on Homelessness in both Gov. Ritter’s and Gov. Hickenlooper’s administrations. Shortly after returning to Denver, Burnes became involved in the Housing and Homelessness Funders Collaborative, a group of funders providing grants to groups engages in system-wide change in the are of affordable housing and homelessness.

CHASS is developing a Center for Social and Economic Justice, which will serve to advance interdisciplinary work, including research, grant activity, development of cutting edge curricula, opportunities for increased community engagement, and opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary work prior to entering a career. The Center also endorses other programmatic endeavors through linkage with health professions including public health, health education, and occupational health. The Cannabis Policy Initiative is an initial undertaking of the Center to work towards, among other things, providing a forum for cannabis policy discussions that will complement the efforts of the Center.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.


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