A half-day community forum Oct. 1 will feature a poverty coach as keynote speaker as well as information about area service organizations and a potluck.

Since 2008 the Waldo County Building Communities for Children coalition has been offering the Greater Waldo Community Network Forum: A Celebration of Community Resources. The forum brings together representatives of programs and services that address community needs as well as citizens, business people and other community sectors. It provides an opportunity to build on relationships, create new connections,  look at pressing needs and identify strategies that might help alleviate those needs.

This year’s forum is offered Thursday, Oct. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Belfast United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane. Registration begins at 8:30 and the program starts at 9 a.m.

Keynote Speaker Mary Marin Lyon, director of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor and a nationally certified poverty coach, will speak in the morning on the topic of “Understanding Poverty: Improving Communication Between the Social Classes.”

Lyon will be followed by a panel of local service providers, including representatives from Waldo Community Action Partners, the city of Belfast and other area organizations, that will describe how their programs help to address critical needs for people in poverty, including clothing, heat, transportation, general assistance, food and housing. Small group discussions following the panel will give participants an opportunity to network and continue to expand their understanding of available services and supports.

The day will conclude with a potluck lunch for additional networking. There is no charge for the forum, but donations are appreciated to cover costs. Also, the coalition will compile its annual Directory of Services and distribute it free of charge at the forum.

Building Communities for Children is a Belfast-based coalition of local area agencies, organizations and interested citizens that meets on the first Thursday of each month. For more information, contact Patrick Walsh at 338-2200 ext. 109.