Between November 2009 and January 2010, the Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL) at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) partnered with Interfaith Community Services, New Haven Youth and Family Services, and the Alliance for Regional Solutions, to conduct Town Hall Meetings. The purpose of these Town Hall meetings was to explore and take stock of current regional resources and needs related to five key areas: food security, mental and physical health, education, housing/shelter, and financial literacy. The information gathered will be used to help the OCSL at CSUSM to target more strategically where and how students can better serve the community as part of their academic learning. Additionally, the information and discussions will contribute, through the CSU Chancellor’s Office, to statewide development of initiatives to better channel higher education students’ service to meet community needs.
The initial gathering took place on November 5, 2009 at Interfaith Services in Escondido. This meeting helped determine the level of interest among leaders of community organizations to engage in Town Hall dialogues centering on these topics.
The second gathering was held on the CSUSM campus, on Jan. 13, 2010. This event was professionally facilitated, and involved participants meeting in break-out groups, as well as a whole-group Town Hall discussion.
The third gathering took place on Jan. 20, 2010, at Interfaith Community Services in Escondido. This meeting featured a panel of expert speakers, chosen to represent the 5 primary Town Hall focus areas. Participants engaged in a question & answer period following the speakers' presentations.