Greater MN Trainings

Homelessness 101 is a series of trainings covering essential material needed for working in homelessness and housing and 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, Trauma Informed Practice and Ending Homelessness. 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 201 is our primary training series and is designed to help staff (at all levels) build new skills and tools to better serve people experiencing homelessness. H201s focus on emerging and ongoing needs within our community. The content can be specific to population or program models and often build off the content covered in H101.  

We don’t want cost to be a barrier for anyone to access quality training. Please contact Michele at for scholarship and membership questions.  MESH membership allows discounted pricing for all MESH trainings.  Click HERE to join MESH.

Upcoming Trainings:

November 1 – DUAL Training: Principles of Housing First & Harm Reduction AND Mindfulness

This training covers 2 topics in partnership with Hearth Connection.

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.

Mindfulness means paying friendly attention to yourself and the world around you. Its origins come from Eastern Philosophy but many of the principles have been adapted to several different types of disciplines in today’s world with great success (eg. Psychology, Healthcare, Social Services, Education etc.). Practicing Mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety and improve focus and communication. Mindfulness allows for somebody to be more likely to have intent when making decisions. This session is intended to be a first step (hopefully followed by many more) in understanding what Mindfulness is and how it is applicable to Supportive Housing. The information will be directed toward providers and how they can develop this skill to increase their ability to work better with those around them.

Presented by:

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.

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 and can be reached via email at

Melissa Wright: Melissa is currently a Behavioral Health Practitioner and Department Supervisor at Bois Forte Reservation Health and Human Services and performs Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS).  Prior to these roles she managed the Hearth Connection program as a homeless case manager at Bois Forte for 4 years where she was first introduced to Housing First and Harm Reduction models.  Melissa graduated from the College of St. Scholastica with a degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Social Work in Advanced Clinical Practice through Walden University. 

Date/Time: Thursday, November 1, 10-4pm

Click HERE to register.

Hearth Connection has covered all cost for this training.  Because we need to order food and have limited space – registration is required.

There are a block of rooms reserved at the casino under MESH for October 31 and November 1.  Contact Michele for more information.  Lunch and light snacks will be provided.