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.
We don’t want cost to be a barrier for anyone to access quality training. Please contact Michele at email@example.com for scholarship and membership questions. MESH membership allows discounted pricing for all MESH trainings. Click HERE to join MESH.
- 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 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!
Courtney Knoll: Courtney 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. She “curates” the MESH Facebook page (that you should follow) at www.facebook.com/mesh-mn and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Petroskas: John is a policy specialist at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Before joining DHS, John worked in programs that served homeless families and adults. At Catholic Charities, he helped start the Housing First program, which provides supportive housing for adults who have experienced long-term homelessness. He also worked for the Wilder Foundation, Metrowide Engagement on Shelter and Housing (MESH), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Warren Duncan: Warren is the Programs Director at Hearth Connection. Hearth Connection is a Minnesota non-profit that functions as an Intermediary, bringing in funds around support services and rental assistance for large geographic regions across Minnesota. Hearth Connection manages the network of providers and funding resources, reports outcomes to the Federal, State, and County entities, as well as other funding entities, analyzes the outcomes and looks for ways to improve programming for those participating in it. Warren has been with Hearth Connection in various roles, including as a Case Manager on one of the mobile teams working with single adults in the metro area, as a Regional Manager in Southern and Central Minnesota, and now as Programs Director. Prior to working at Hearth Connection, Warren worked with youth in an emergency shelter, a meal program for those living on the streets, adult foster care programs and case management.
Geoff Meyer: Geoff has worked in the Human Services Field for the past 17 years. Along with providing trainings across the Midwest He is the Director of Housing and Services for House of Charity. Combining his BA in Film and Theatre with his MA in Counseling Psychology Geoff has developed a passion for engaging staff and clients to be able to fully experience trainings and therapy. Geoff puts a focus on person-centered, trauma informed, motivational interviewing and harm reduction with a dash of all the other treatment clichés that happen to be handy. Geoff encourages everyone to step back and not take themselves or each other too seriously. “We’re all just trying to meet our needs in the healthiest way we know and each of us has a responsibility to teach and learn from each other.”
Steve Carlson: Steve Carlson, Psy. D. is a Clinical Trainer with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Mental and Chemical Health, a Community Faculty member with Metropolitan State University, and provides consultation and training for organizations in a variety of models including the Sanctuary Model for Trauma Informed Organizations. Topics for training include: Motivational Interviewing and Stage-Wise Treatment, Harm Reduction, Mindfulness and Mental Health, and the History and Psychology of Long-Term Homelessness. As a Certified Trainer in Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), Steve provides training and consultation to various agencies around the state of Minnesota as well as nationally. He can be reached at email@example.com