“We Are All In This Together”: Highlights from the HRC Regional Training in Los Angeles

by Wendy Grace Evans
August 30, 2011

Image of Wendy Grace Evans

Continuing the cross country training tour, SAMHSA’s Homelessness Resource Center training team just returned from a well-attended Regional Training in Los Angeles, California. This year’s regional training series will conclude with the last training in Roanoke, West Virginia, on August 23-24, 2011.

The training was held at The Center for Healthy Living, a beautiful architecturally green space, with both indoor and outdoor space, and rock and water gardens, all funded by The California Endowment. Over 200 participants came from as far away as Alaska and as close as LA’s Skid Row.

I was able to catch up with Rene Buchanan, a Volunteer Coordinator from OPCC’s Daybreak, who shared her reflections on presenting as part of the HRC workshop, “Moving Forward Together: People in Recovery as Colleagues.” Rene shares:

I was incredibly honored when SAMHSA’s HRC made me an integral part of the training. The full presentation was empowering for me. My experience working with the HRC training team has shown me that they are such an amazing group of people and so special to interact with.

I have often shared my story to benefit the agency where I work and where I had received services, but to share my story in a training capacity, where I am teaching, was something else for me. It was validating. My inclusion was a moment of validation. I walked away feeling more conviction for what I truly believe in.

I can continue to do these kinds of trainings. People seem to understand consumer integration in theory, but in practice, people have concerns and doubts. People have to see it happen and how people who come in for services can really help others. Those preconceived notions of who consumers really are creates a power differential that is hard to overcome. It will take a dramatically different way of thinking.

For instance, meeting musician Nathaniel Ayers and seeing the relationship between him and Steve Lopez, author of The Soloist, is part of this dramatically different thinking. When Nathaniel started playing the cello and he started to speak about Mr. Lopez, it made me cry. They are proof positive of one person helping another for fun and for free. I know it started as an article, but it became so much more than that, and today they have something that is based on mutual respect and admiration.

It is always a highlight for me to meet other people from other parts of the US who are doing the same things as I do at the agency where I work. The only way that we are going to make a dent in this problem is if we realize that we are all in this together. We need to share the things that do work and come together as a team. I am leaving this training with a fire beneath me and I feel that I have more conviction around the things I believe in. The people at the training themselves inspired me. I was fortunate to be in a room of such amazing strength and wonderful energy.

Tags: , , ,

Category: HRC Insight

Hitting the Road: Free Training from the HRC

by Justine Hanson
April 07, 2011

Image of Justine Hanson


The Homelessness Resource Center training team is in the swing of the training season. Over the next five months, we’ll be criss-crossing the country to offer free two-day training events in four cities. Mark your calendars for the following events:

  • Denver, Colorado, May 19-20, 2011
  • Providence, Rhode Island, June 28 & June 29-30 2011
  • Los Angeles, California, August 1-2 & August 3, 2011
  • Roanoke, West Virginia, August 23-24, 2011

Stay posted for information on how to register and details on the training workshops for each event.

Each training will offer HRC’s core curriculum, Promoting Wellness: An Integrated Approach to Homeless Service Delivery. Join us to learn more about innovative strategies for providing homeless services and creating environments that are person-centered, trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented.

HRC’s training team and our federal and local partners will share expertise in Motivational Interviewing, Consumer Integration, Trauma-Informed Care, Self-Care, Housing, Outreach, and much more. Continuing Education Units (CEU) will be available to participants who complete the training.

Interested in being a HRC Guest Blogger? Email us at generalinquiry@center4si.com

Tags: , ,

Category: General

HRC Training in El Paso Brings Hope and Help to Trainees and Trainers Alike

by Steven Samra
June 06, 2010

Image of Steven Samra

I believe that there is something special about the people living in the Southwestern region of our great nation, and it flows into all that they do. It may be the effect of endless sunny days or the wonderfully low humidity common to most of the area, but whatever it is, I wish I could take a few gallons with me.

It's not that they're somehow better than the good folks in any other region of our country. Rather, they seem to wear their friendliness, compassion, and hope on their sleeve, where all can see it and everyone seems to benefit in some fashion from it.

I was reminded of this wonderful quality when I spent two days in El Paso, Texas as part of the HRC/PATH training team. Our team was there to offer a free two-day training on “Promoting Wellness: An Integrated Approach to Homeless Service Delivery”.

It is always a privilege for me to help others to improve their skill sets. And it is an even bigger privilege that I get to learn from those I'm charged with instructing. The folks attending this training didn't disappoint in this regard. They brought incredible knowledge and compelling personal examples to the sessions, not to mention an engaging and cheerful demeanor that made the overall effort so enjoyable!

Of special note, as a consumer/provider, I regularly disclose portions of my past concerning homelessness and recovery when training. The experiences I endured are often relevant to our discussions. Disclosing my personal history to the folks in El Paso brought an outpouring of support and encouragement. It took me by pleasant surprise and made me feel even more comfortable with sharing and exploring efforts to bring a better level of care to those we interact with on a daily basis.

I cannot thank the training attendees enough for providing me with an incredibly uplifting, informative, and invigorating experience. I hope I was able to reciprocate in some small way by leaving them with some new tools in their toolbox to better assist those who seek our help and care.

Interested in being a HRC Guest Blogger? Email us at generalinquiry@center4si.com

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: HRC Insight | HRC Insight

Reflections from the Road: Columbia, SC

by Wayne Centrone
April 12, 2010

Image of Wayne Centrone

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!

Interested in being a HRC Guest Blogger? Email us at generalinquiry@center4si.com.

Tags: , , ,

Category: HRC Insight

Come to Columbia, South Carolina!

by Laura Winn
March 01, 2010

Image of Laura Winn

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 lwinn@center4si.com if you have any questions.

Interested in being a HRC Guest Blogger? Email us at generalinquiry@center4si.com

Tags: , , ,

Category: HRC Insight