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: Principles of Housing First & Harm Reduction, 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 3 times a year in the Metro area using 2 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 (One 1/2 day per month)  This model may be signed up for 1, 2 or all 3 days as fits your schedule.  If you would like to experience the full 101 series, we recommend registering for all 3 days.  This training will take place in the 1st quarter of the year.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Principles of Housing First & Harm Reduction: Harm Reduction 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. In this training we discuss the overlapping principles of these two strategies and how they fit into supportive housing programs.
  • 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 thee 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!

Upcoming Dates:

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.  Click HERE to join MESH.