Los Angeles Agenda
SAMHSA, substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services, Homelessness resource Center, Partners for Assistance in Transition from homelessness, SSI/SSDI Outreach Assessment and Recovery, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program National Technical Assistance Center, US Department of Labor Veterans' Employment & Training Services

Draft Agenda

Promoting Wellness:
An Integrated Approach to Homeless Service Delivery

Los Angeles, CA
August 1-2, 2011

August 1 (Day 1)


Registration - All participants must register on the first day. Participants seeking Continuing Education Units must register on both days.


Opening – Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor, District 3 (invited), Ken Kraybill, Homelessness Resource Center

Welcome and orientation to the training agenda and logistics.
Taste of self-care


Keynote Speaker Steve Lopez, LA Times




Break-Out Session I

  1. Innovative Housing Strategies in a Housing First Context – Becky Kanis, Common Ground, Skid Road Housing Trust, Mark Allison, HRC
  2. Learn innovative ways to secure housing for people without homes. During this time of ever shrinking resources, we need to explore every possible means to procure housing as we work towards implementing Housing First in our communities. Come hear panelists review current trends and innovations in affordable housing.

  3. Improving Employment Outcomes for Homeless Job Seekers Through Effective Partnerships with Employers – (Presenters pending)
  4. Panelists will speak about what they need from job seekers. They will suggest strategies for employer relationship building, ideas on how to respond to diverse hiring approaches and understanding growth job sectors from an employer’s perspective. These can help case managers, employment specialists and job seekers to secure good work in hard times.

  5. Bridging a Way into the VA – Betty Zamost, VISN 22 and Steven Samra, HRC
  6. This session is geared primarily for non-VA service providers to offer general instructions and information to assist civilian community agencies, including HVRP grantees, in understanding and accessing VA services successfully.

  7. Trauma and Its Impact on Service Delivery and Acceptance - Cathy Cave, SSH TA Center, Deb Werner, SSH TA Center
  8. This workshop will provide an introduction to understanding trauma, its sources, and its impact on staff and people experiencing homelessness. We will discuss pathways to system involvement: addictions, mental health, and incarceration as impacts of trauma.

  9. Critical Time Intervention, An Evidence-Based Practice – Sam Catherine Johnston, HRC
  10. Critical Time Intervention (CTI) is an evidence-based practice designed to support people as they transition from homelessness into housing. This introductory workshop will cover basic definitions, key elements of CTI, and next steps for your agency.

  11. What Does “Algee” Have to do With Mental Health?: An Introduction to Mental Health First Aid – Rachael Kenney, PATH, Melissa Cogswell, PATH
  12. Most people know how to do the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR but never have to put these skills to use. Most people also know at least one person who has a mental health problem but aren’t sure how to express their concern. Mental Health First Aid is based on the premise that it is possible to provide first aid for someone in a mental health crisis until help arrives. This session will introduce the concept of Mental Health First Aid and will provide information on how to become certified.


Lunch Session: Taste of Self-Care and Plenary Talk: Improving Collaboration Across Veterans and Homelessness Service Systems – Jim McGuire, National Director, VHA Justice Programs


Breakout Session II

  1. Management Matters: Leadership in Homelessness Programs – Katie Volk, NCFH
  2. Explore strategies for recruitment and retention of staff, how to create strong teams, and tips for developing healthy organizations. This session is designed for anyone in leadership roles in homeless service agencies.

  3. Serving LGBT Youth Experiencing Homelessness – Wayne Centrone, HRC, Lochlan McHale, Consultant
  4. Description pending

  5. Customizing Job Placements – John Rio, National Veterans TA Center, Lisa Stern, Dave Lopez, Swords to Ploughshares.
  6. A variety of tactics can be used to improve job finding activities and partnerships with employers especially when unemployment rates hover at or above 9%, but these must be tailored to the job seeker and be delivered by skilled job developers. This session will provide an overview of Customized Employment practices and how they can benefit both job-seeker and employer.

  7. Facilitating Recovery Through Trauma-Informed Practices and Trauma Specific Interventions – Cathy Cave, SSH TA Center, Deb Werner, SSH TA Center
  8. This workshop will identify core ingredients that characterize organizations engaged in trauma-informed systemic change and provide tools and resources to increase inclusion of survivor voice, choice, and empowerment

  9. Expediting SSI/SSDI Applications: SOAR Critical Components and Models for Implementation – Kristin Lupfer, SOAR, Deb Dennis, SOAR and Julio Barajas, SOAR/li>

    Projects around the country address issues like jail and prison reentry, reimbursement of uncompensated care to hospitals, General Assistance recoupment, coordinating veteran benefits, and access to housing and treatment - all by expediting applications for SSI/SSDI for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Learn about how SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) and other SSI/SSDI outreach projects are implemented in prisons, jails, street outreach programs, and other settings from people who have done it.

  10. Introduction to Motivational Interviewing – Ken Kraybill, HRC
  11. Learn about the spirit and core skills of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in this introductory session. MI is a person-centered, goal-oriented, guiding method of communication to enhance motivation to change. This evidence-based approach is valuable for care providers of all disciplines.




Moving Forward, Together: Involving Consumers as Colleagues – Rene Buchanan, Ocean Park Community Center, Steven Samra, HRC, Wayne Centrone, HRC

Examine the benefits and challenges of integrating consumers into direct service agencies. Gain insight and a first-person perspective of the unique opportunities, difficulties, and assistance consumer-providers can bring to an organization.


Networking with Peers – Get to know people with like interests, ask questions, and share expertise.


HVRP Grantees – A Discussion of Program Issues and Meeting Outcome Expectations - Baylee Crone, National Veterans TA Center and US DOL/VETS staff

August 2 (Day 2)




Welcome Back - Ken Kraybill, HRC

Brief review of the previous day and the day ahead
Taste of self-care


Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness – Eduardo Cabrera, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

The implementation of Opening Doors relies on the unprecedented collaboration that is occurring among federal agencies and other partners. Local leaders, service providers, and advocates are critical partners in achieving the goals in Opening Doors. This overview is an invitation for you to help implement the plan.




Breakout Session III

  1. Panel: The Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness – Betty Zamost, VISN 22 Network Homeless Coordinator trainer, US DOL/VETS, Eduardo Cabrera, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Mark Allison, Homelessness Resource Center, local HUD CPD William Vasquez (invited), Michael Arnold, LAHSA (invited)
  2. Among the more specific actions stated in Opening Doors, panelists will focus their comments on several key objectives. These include: 1) Increase meaningful and sustainable employment; 2) Improve access to mainstream services to reduce people’s financial vulnerability; 3) Integrate primary and behavioral health care services with homeless assistance programs and housing to reduce people’s vulnerability to homelessness; and 4) provide affordable housing.

  3. Supportive Housing and The Pursuit of Purpose – John Rio, HVRP TA, Joyce Grangent, HRC
  4. Earning income and permanent housing are the keys to ending veteran homelessness! Employment services and permanent housing providers can improve their outcomes by learning how to work better together. Stable housing provides a platform for job seeking and retention while employment promotes housing stability. Together, these programs can help even those with significant barriers succeed.

  5. Overview of Psychotropic Medications for the Non-Medical Homeless Service Provider - Mark Ragins, Mental Health of America, LA Village
  6. This session will focus on increasing nonmedical staff knowledge of psychotropic medications. At the end of this session, participants will have an enhanced understanding of how to differentiate among the different types of psychotropic medications, be able to identify which medications are clinically indicated for which mental health and substance use disorders, and to identify common side effects. Geared towards social workers, case managers, and non-prescribing mental health and/or substance abuse clinicians.

  7. Veterans, Trauma, and Trauma-Informed Practices – Cathy Cave, SSH TA Center, Deb Werner, SSH TA Center, and Tia Christopher, Farmer Veteran Coalition
  8. This workshop will explore the issues related to veterans, highlighting unique concerns of female veterans, and provide resources to guide trauma-informed care within the context of veteran’s lives.

  9. Addressing Legal Challenges Faced by Homeless Veterans – Judge Roger W. Krauel, California Superior Court, Steve Haimowitz, HVRP TA Center, Steven Samra, HRC
  10. This session will examine criminal justice issues from different perspectives, including personal experience, and suggest practical strategies for addressing such problems as the employment barriers from “having a record.”

  11. Communities of Practice: Learning Over the Long Term – Sam Catherine Johnston, HRC, Kaela Gray, HRC
  12. Discover what a community of practice is, its dimensions, and how it works. We will also discuss how to launch a community of practice, foster its growth, and build learning partnerships that allow people in agencies to continually learn together and improve their practices.


Lunch & Sustaining Learning through Communities of Practice


Breakout Session IV

  1. Community Partners- Addressing the Needs of Homeless Veterans – John Rio, HVRP, Baylee Crone, National Veterans TA Center, Steve Nelson (Tucson)
  2. People experiencing homelessness can require an array of coordinated services. Whether it’s a need for additional job training, addictions or mental health treatment, or child care services, the end result needs to be entry into stable housing and a job to earn the income needed to pay rent and meet personal needs. This session will focus on planning and implementing service coordination approaches.

  3. Building on Strengths in Rural Communities – Bridget DeJong, HomeBase, Donna Thrush, NCFH
  4. This session will provide strategies to improve outcomes for homelessness systems of care in rural settings. We will discuss the steps from isolation to collaboration and how to improve program outcomes by improving connections with other resources in communities, regions, and states.

  5. Outreach: From the Basics to a New Paradigm – Rachael Kenney, PATH, Steven Samra, PATH
  6. This session will cover the philosophy of outreach, outreach skills, and the shifting outreach paradigm. Materials shared in this session include the PATH Street Outreach Videos and the article Outreach and Engagement in Homeless Services: A Review of the Literature. Both new and seasoned outreach workers are invited to join this session to discuss their experiences, concerns, and hopes for the future of outreach in homeless services.

  7. The Los Angeles Homeless Court Model – Paul L. Freese, Jr., Public Counsel, Songhai Miguda-Armstead, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Homeless
  8. Alternatives to Living on the Street (HALO) and Homeless Court Programs People without homes, including veterans, often find themselves involved in the criminal justice system facing allegations for crimes that stem from behaviors related to poverty and trauma. At this session, community stakeholders will discuss viable alternatives to the traditional court response of convictions and incarceration.

  9. Facilitating Recovery Through Trauma-Informed Communities – Cathy Cave, SSH TA Center, Deb Werner, SSH TA Center
  10. For many cultural groups, historical trauma continues to have a pervasive impact on individuals and families in present day. This workshop will explore the impact of historical and trans-generational trauma on recovering individuals and families, the impact on housing and potential for community transformation.

  11. Medical Care for Non-Medical Providers – Wayne Centrone, HRC
  12. This session will advance participants’ understanding of basic medical terminology, emergencies, common illnesses, diseases, and conditions that punctuate the lives of people experiencing homelessness. The session will draw from clinical case examples.




Taste of Self-care and Now What? – Katie Volk, NCFH, Ken Kraybill, HRC


Continuing Education Units Issued


SAMHSA, substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Labor Veterans' Employment & Training Services