Homelessness 201

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.  

Motivational Interviewing used to be part of our 101 content.  It is now a 3 part 201 series that will be offered throughout the year.  See description at bottom of page for more information.

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.

Registration OPEN:

November 6 – Trauma: the Neurology Behind it & the Best Practices for it’s Treatment

This workshop will provide an overview of the neurobiology of trauma and best practices​ for its treatment. We will look at how brain and body are altered by the experience o​f​ trauma and discuss simple ways to share this information with the clients you serve so they may better understand their struggles.​​ We will explore the core components of implementing trauma-informed care into​ the realm of social services.

​This workshop will include practical ways to incorporate​ trauma informed principles into your interactions with clients, in ways that increase​ understanding, maintain empathy, and foster improved care.​

Presented by:  Ryan C. Van Wyk, Psy.D., LP,  is a licensed clinical psychologist and Specialty Lead in the Mental Health Clinic at North Memorial Health.  He is the founder of MN Trauma Project, an organization that aims to increase accessibility to trauma informed care in the state of MN.  Ryan is a Major and Behavioral Health Officer in the MN Army National Guard.  As a therapist, he specializes in the treatment of complex trauma and dissociative disorders and has additional specialization in the treatment of co-occurring eating disorders and addictions.  He frequently presents on the implementation of trauma informed care practices as well as the intersection of trauma and both eating disorders and addictions.

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 6, 9-12pm

Location: NW Area Foundation (Drake Building): 60 Plato Blvd E, St Paul 55107

Click HERE to register.

Members – $30/Non-Members – $60 (This is a 3 hour training)


November 14 – Social Security Disability: the Process & the Myths

Disability Determination Services (DDS) determines medical eligibility for Minnesotans who have filed for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Regulated and funded by the federal government, DDS decides whether or not a claimant’s medical condition is considered a disability under Social Security law.  We will discuss the disability process, debunk common myths and provide tips applying for Social Security Disability.

Presented by: Tanya Heitzinger has been a medical relations officer with the Minnesota Disability Determination Services for almost 8 years. She has a BA in criminal justice and MA in organizational management. AND Laurel Thwing has been with the Minnesota DDS for 3 years. She has a BS in environmental science and sustainable forestry. Tanya and Laurel provide outreach throughout the State of Minnesota. 

Date/Time: Wednesday, November 14, 9-11am

Location: NE YMCA Community Center: 2304 Jackson St NE, Minneapolis 55418

Click HERE  to register.

Members – $20/ Non-Members – $40 (This is a morning training)


November 26 – Motivational Interviewing Skills Practice I: the Spirit of MI and OARS

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is learned best in stages, over time, and with opportunities to practice. This workshop is the first of a series of three focusing on the foundations of and beginning strategies of MI. In this workshop you will learn about the Spirit of MI, counseling skills that are essential to effective practice, and an introduction to various MI tools including OARS. By the end of this workshop you will:

·       Understand the uses of MI, in what context it is most helpful, and how to begin using MI strategies with your clients.

·       Have practiced effective listening skills to support deep understanding of what your client(s) are motivated towards

·       Understand and have practiced OARS

Presenter by:  Steve Carlson, PsyD has been working in the mental and chemical health field for over thirty years in a variety of settings, mostly in clinical and management positions at various Community Mental Health Centers.  He is currently employed by the University of Minnesota as a Clinical Trainer at the Minnesota Center for Chemical and Mental Health.  Additionally, Steve is a Community Faculty Member at Metropolitan State University.  His areas of interest and specialty include Integrated Mental and Chemical Health Treatment, Stages of Change & Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Mindfulness and Mental Health, The Psychology of Long-Term Homelessness, Trauma-Informed Care using the Sanctuary Model, Supportive Housing Model and other mental health topics.  As a Certified Minnesota Trainer in Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) Steve provides training and consultation to agencies around the State of Minnesota and nationally. Steve is a member of MINT, the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. He can be reached at carlson561@gmail.com

Date/Time: Monday, November 26, 1-4pm

Location: NW Area Foundation (Drake Building): 60 Plato Blvd E, St Paul, 55107

Click HERE for more information and to register.

Members – $30/Non-Members – $60 (This is a 3 hour training).


Upcoming Trainings:

Collaboration for Improved Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Survivors – December 4

Motivational Interviewing Skills Practice II: Promoting Change and Complex Reflections – December 17

Get notified when new training registrations go live!  Contact Michele at events@mesh-mn.org to be added to our email list.

NEW – Motivational Interviewing is now a 3 part series for our Homelessness 201 training.  Each stage will build on the previous so please make sure you either take them in order or review pre-requisites before registering.  This is a hands on, practical training to help build motivational interviewing and reflective listening skills.  Contact Michele with any questions.

Motivational Interviewing Skills Practice I: the Spirit of MI and OARS

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is learned best in stages, over time, and with opportunities to practice. This workshop is the first of a series of three focusing on the foundations of and beginning strategies of MI. In this workshop you will learn about the Spirit of MI, counseling skills that are essential to effective practice, and an introduction to various MI tools including OARS. By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Understand the uses of MI, in what context it is most helpful, and how to begin using MI strategies with your clients.
  • Have practiced effective listening skills to support deep understanding of what your client(s) are motivated towards
  • Understand and have practiced OARS

Motivational Interviewing Skills Practice II: Promoting Change and Complex Reflections

Incorporating the foundations of MI learned in the first workshop you will be introduced to the stages of change model and how MI utilizes this approach for assisting clients to initiate and further their process of change. You will learn how to evoke from your client their reasons for change, assess readiness, and incorporate complex reflections into your work.  By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Know how to appropriately respond to and work with your clients stage of change using MI
  • Be able to form complex reflections to evoke intrinsic motivation
  • Have practiced “focusing” in order to narrow down your clients concerns into a “target behavior” that becomes the focus of change
  • Have used the “Change Ruler” and decisional balance in the process of identifying various aspects of client motivation

Motivational Interviewing Skills Practice III: Change Talk

In this workshop you will learn about “change talk,” what it is, how to recognize it, and what to do when you hear it.  By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Have learned about and practiced strategies that facilitate client change based on the underlying motivations of importance, confidence, and readiness.
  • Practice how to support the transition from “preparing to change” to “taking steps”
  • Practice developing a plan for change that takes into account contextual challenges and the power of ambivalence and habitual behavior

Roster of Trainings since 2016:

  • Refugee Process 101
  • Social Security Disability: the Process & the Myths
  • Motivational Interviewing (3 part series)
  • Somali 101
  • GA & MSA: Two Programs You Should Know More About
  • LTH & Chronic Homeless Definition
  • Working with Youth in Non-Youth Related Organizations
  • Self-Care (variety of approaches)
  • Creating Trauma Informed Organizations Using the Sanctuary Model
  • Trauma: the Neurobiology Behind It & Best Practices for It’s Treatment
  • Housing from a Landlord’s Perspective
  • Intersections of DV & Sexual Assault and Homelessness/Housing
  • Culture Matters
  • Personality Disorders
  • Landlord/Tenant Law for Social Workers
  • Working with LGBTQ Clients
  • De-Escalation: Strategies for Preventing & Responding
  • Veteran Homelessness in MN
  • Renters’ Rights & Domestic Abuse
  • Co-Occurring Disorders, Trauma, Integrated Treatment & Recovery-Oriented Approaches
  • Working with Homeless Older Adults
  • Housing Support (formerly GRH) Overview
  • Mindfulness
  • Understanding the Definitions of Homelessness