Reflections from the Road: Columbia, SC

by Wayne Centrone
April 12, 2010

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Working in homeless services can be a very lonely experience. As a service provider, some days you feel totally exhilarated by the success of a client. Other days, you might feel completely defeated by their struggle. Each day brings a new set of challenges. Rarely do you have time to slow down and process everything you experience in this challenging line of work.

Before I joined the Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) training team, I worked in direct service delivery. Back then, I looked forward to trainings and conferences as opportunities to connect with my colleagues, recharge my spirit, and learn new skills. Most of all, I looked forward to meeting other providers who faced the same daily challenges as myself.

Recently, a team of us from HRC and Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to offer a free two-day training called “Promoting Wellness.” The curriculum included workshops on Motivational Interviewing, trauma-informed care, how to work with hard to serve youth, Housing First, Critical Time Intervention, consumer involvement, and PATH data collection.

We had a strong team of trainers who represented a multitude of professional disciplines. Participants came from all over South Carolina and the Southeast (with someone who came all the way from Bingham, NY!). The agenda was packed with workshops on best practices for providers, based on the latest research.

A local artist shared his beautiful and provocative paintings with us as part of a presentation on “Homelessness and the Arts.” He is a participant in the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s “Art of Recovery” program.

By the end of the second day, we were all friends.

Each workshop helped providers to learn tangible, concrete skills that they can use in their everyday work. The theme of “promoting wellness” was woven throughout, with a clear focus on promoting a person-centered, trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented approach to serving people experiencing homelessness.

The venue was the beautiful Department of South Carolina Archives and History. Everyone at HRC and PATH extends a big “THANK YOU” to all our partners in South Carolina who helped make the event a success.

As I’ve transitioned out of direct service delivery and into a supporting role, I’ve felt a little removed from the pressures my direct service colleagues face on a daily basis. But my time in South Carolina helped to reconnect and reinvigorate me. Through conversations with providers, I gained new insight into the wonderful people who have dedicated their careers to homeless services.

It made me realize that HRC’s work – the work of supporting the people who care for those experiencing homelessness – is extremely important.

I can't wait for the next training event!

Join the HRC in El Paso, Texas on May 25 & 26, 2010 for the next free, two-day “Promoting Wellness” training. Register now!

In June 2010, the HRC training team will head to Tacoma, Washington in June 2010. Stay tuned for registration details!

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Category: HRC Insight | HRC Insight

Come to Columbia, South Carolina!

by Laura Winn
March 01, 2010

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HRC is hosting a free two-day regional training open to all homeless service providers in Columbia, South Carolina on March 31st and April 1st. As a new member of the HRC Team, I am so excited to join our training team to see what the HRC is known for: state-of-the-art training.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve heard of Ken Kraybill, HRC’s Training and Technical Assistance Specialist’s exceptional expertise on Motivational Interviewing training. I’m told Jeff Olivet, HRC Director of Training, has a unique way of connecting with people as he presents on Critical Time Intervention and Homelessness and the Arts. I’m also very excited to hear Steven Samra, HRC’s new Recovery Specialist, offer his lived experience as he trains providers on Consumer Integration and creating Recovery-Oriented Environments.

We’ve been working closely with local partners in South Carolina to expand our core curriculum, Promoting Wellness: An Integrated Approach to Homeless Service Delivery, to meet the unique needs and challenges faced by providers in the Southeast. Attendees will gain valuable training on Motivational Interviewing, Self-Care, Housing, Outreach, and Trauma-Informed Care. They’ll also learn how to address the needs of individuals coping with co-occurring disorders and the needs of the region’s youth.

Our registration roster is filling up, and we’re already expecting providers from South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and even New York.

Connecting with providers tops the list of the reasons I’m excited to head south at the end of March. I’m looking forward to meeting and connecting with a wide range of professionals in the field who are working every day to end homelessness in their communities.

I hope you can join us on March 31st and April 1st in Colombia, South Carolina to see the Homelessness Resource Center in action. We are SAMHSA’s training and technical assistance center for homeless service providers and we’re very excited to work with you.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits are available to participants who complete the training.

A participant at one of our past trainings told us, “This has been one of the best trainings I’ve attended. I have attended conferences and trainings in the past, but none had the energy and knowledge of this one. Glad I made the trip!”

I hope you’ll make the trip, too. Register now for the HRC Regional Training, or email me at if you have any questions.

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Category: HRC Insight