Homelessness 101

Homelessness 101 is a series of trainings covering essential material needed for working in homelessness and supportive housing. It is best suited for staff who are newer to the field or for staff looking for refreshers on best practices. Currently, the six modules included are: Housing First, History of Homelessness, Client Engagement, Boundaries & Ethics, Ending Homelessness and Trauma Informed Practice. We believe that these six trainings cover content that every person in the field should have a basic understanding of as we work towards the goal of preventing and ending homelessness.  

Homelessness 101 will be offered every quarter in the Metro area using 3 models.

MODEL 1: 2 consecutive days of training (3 modules per day)  This model requires attendance at both days.  This training will take place in the 2nd and 4th quarters of the year.

MODEL 2: 3 –  1/2 days (1 – 1/2 day per month)  This model does not require attendance at all 3 in 1 quarter.  This training will take place in the 1st quarter of the year.

MODEL 3: 6 –  2 hour trainings (2 – 2 hour trainings per month)  This model does not require attendance at all 6 in 1 quarter.  This training will take place in the 3rd quarter of the year.

We don’t want cost to be a barrier for anyone to access quality training. Please contact Michele at events@mesh-mn.org for scholarship and membership questions.  MESH membership allows discounted pricing for all MESH trainings.

Hearth Partners who have a code for discount can choose that option in the registration.


Homelessness 101: Registration Open – Model 1

Our fourth quarter of 2017 offers Model 1: 2 consecutive days.

  • Housing First is a best practice approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements. Housing First is also a philosophy that shapes the crisis response system and Coordinated Entry and is important knowledge for everyone, not just those working in Housing First programs.
  • Client Engagement will cover basic tools and strategies for engagement, including motivational interviewing and the stages of change as this can be one of the most difficult tasks when working with people experiencing homelessness, especially when increasingly program services are voluntary
  • Maintaining professionalism and healthy personal boundaries are critical if you want to do good work, avoid burnout, and really help empower your clients to achieve their goals. Boundaries & Ethics will address some of the most common ethical challenges you might face when working with people who experience homelessness, and will use real-life scenarios to challenge your thinking about this topic.
  • Trauma informed Care has become a bit of a cliché and many funders are requiring a “Trauma Informed Approach” but what is it really? This workshop takes a look at Trauma Informed Care from the perspective of someone who has experienced a traumatic event and then dives deeper into the psychology of trauma and recovery.
  • History of Homelessness will examine the socio-economic and political factors that cause homelessness, as well as attitudes and responses toward people experiencing homelessness through several major periods of history.
  • Ending Homelessness can seem like a daunting task. Is it even possible? This section of Homelessness 101 will explore the strategies and programs that Minnesota is using to prevent and end homelessness such as continuum of care, coordinated entry, and a slew of acronyms, and will seek to clarify and simplify some of the complexities of these different strategies. We will explore the multi-faceted approaches needed to reach “functional zero” to help participants better understand their personal and professional role in this work!

Presented by:

Geoff Meyer: Geoff has worked in the Human Services Field for the past 17 years and is currently Director of Housing Services at House of Charity. He provides trainings across the Midwest, often for MESH, and is well liked for his easy going and humorous style. He is educated in Film and Theatre in addition to Counseling Psychology.

John Petroskas is a policy specialist at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.  Before joining DHS, John worked in programs that served homeless families and adults such as Catholic Charities, the Wilder Foundation, HUD and MESH.  John is a frequent MESH presenter with great stories that reveal his compassion and commitment to helping those who find themselves homeless.

Courtney Knoll has been working in the homelessness and supportive housing field for the last 10 years, including the past 4 at MESH. She has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and is passionate about ending homelessness and creating policy and programs that work for people who need them most.

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 11, 8:45-3:45

Location: Center for Changing Lives: 2400 Park Av S, Minneapolis 55404

A light breakfast and lunch are served both days.

Registration is CLOSED.