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Commack interfaith forum today will tackle housing issue

Commack is a hamlet in the Town of

Commack is a hamlet in the Town of Smithtown on Long Island. (Jan. 5, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Hoping to encourage more support to end hunger, homelessness and the lack of affordable housing options on Long Island, The Huntington Township Housing Coalition is holding an interfaith, multicultural service Monday in Commack.

Richard Koubek, president of the coalition, said the event will be a call to action for Long Islanders to address issues of insufficient food and shelter, which are often not thought to plague suburbia.

“I want people to come away with the sense they have to raise their voices and come away with a sense of empowerment and mission” about issues such as housing needs and hunger, Koubek said.

The Long Island Housing Partnership will serve as co-host and Huntington Town supervisor Frank Petrone is scheduled to speak about the importance of people working together to create affordable housing.

Koubek said the annual event, held every January on the day that civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is memorialized, takes on “enormous” significance coming on the heels of superstorm Sandy and the destruction it wrought, and given that it also is presidential inauguration day.

“The battle in Washington about funding housing programs and emergency assistance to Long Island is symbolic, ” Koubek said. “I hope the inauguration is going to be a turning point for more cooperation between the two parties, between the branches, to look at people who are vulnerable.”

The program will feature five choirs as well as scripture readings focusing on food and shelter for those in need. The readings will be done in Hebrew, Arabic, Creole, Spanish and other languages. In honor of King, his statements on economic justice also will be read during the program.

The service is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, 74 Hauppauge Rd.

 

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