Session Agenda


Thursday January 16

Click on individual sessions for more info
10:45 am–12:15 pm
Building Early Links for Learning: Encouraging Resilience for Young Children in Family Homeless Shelters

This presentation will describe the Building Early Links (BELL) for Learning initiative in Philadelphia. Attendees will learn how BELL increases enrollment among children in shelter by promoting developmentally appropriate policies, practices, and spaces in shelter and engaging in cross-systems collaboration between shelter and early childhood education.

J.J. Cutuli, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Nemours Children’s Health System

Joe Willard
Vice President of Policy
People’s Emergency Center

Photovoice as a Tool for Better Understanding How Homeless Families Navigate Healthcare Systems

Families experiencing homelessness often face numerous poor health outcomes. The process by which homeless families navigate healthcare systems has been largely unknown until this point. This session will present findings from a study that uses photography as a tool to illuminate the experiences of homeless families navigating healthcare systems.

Dana Harley, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Cincinnati

James P. Canfield, PhD
Associate Professor
Louisiana State University

Leslie Kokotech
Doctoral Student
University of Cincinnati

Addressing Cultural Competency in Homeless Services

Racially and ethnically diverse families and children who become homeless experience unique challenges when interacting with schools, homeless shelters, social service providers, and the legal system. Panelists will share research on the importance of culturally appropriate education and social services as well as their experiences helping diverse homeless families thrive.

Jeff Olivet
Principal Investigator and Consultant
jo consulting

Lorraine Davis
Founder, President, & CEO
Native American Development Center & NATIVE, INC.

Dania Darwish
Asiyah Women’s Center

Mary Cheng
Director of Childhood Development Services
Chinese-American Planning Council

Employment Focus in a Housing First World

The co-location of employment and housing services can offer superior results to housing first programs. In this session, Way Finders will discuss their innovative use of state funds to successfully integrate employment services into a housing first program in Massachusetts.

Maegan Pedemonti
Program Manager
Way Finders, Inc.

Kamaria Moore-Hollis
Economic Mobility Manager
Department of Transitional Assistance

Self-Care: An Employee Right and an Organizational Responsibility

This session will examine employee self-care from an organizational perspective. Presenters will share an example of an interdepartmental policy created to address workplace trauma for staff. Staff from the departments involved in this collaboration will share their experience with implementation and impact.

Megan Melamed
Clinical Manager

Darlene Williams, PhD
Chief Program Officer

Roudy Vincent
Assistant Vice President of Corporate Security

Impacting Social Determinants of Health in Homeless Populations through Innovations in Medical School Education

Presenters will share their experiences implementing culturally sensitive medical school curriculum that fosters interaction between medical students and homeless families. Participants will work in small groups to explore opportunities for educational initiatives through local partnerships between service organizations and academic institutions.

Dr. Cynthia Arndell
Executive Medical Director of Care Management & Home Health Care Services
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Tracy Weaver
Executive Director

The Past, Present, and Future of Federal Policy on Family Homelessness

This session will review federal policy on child, youth, and family homelessness, provide a current update, and offer ways that attendees can take action to shape the future.  Areas of focus will include the reform of federal homeless assistance, as well as early care, education, housing, and anti-poverty programs.

Barbara Duffield
Executive Director
SchoolHouse Connection

Cara Baldari
Vice President, Family Economics, Housing, and Homelessness
First Focus

Patricia Julianelle
Director of Program Advancement and Legal Affairs
SchoolHouse Connection

Supporting Children Experiencing Homelessness in Rural America

While student homelessness is on the rise nationwide, it is growing at nearly four times the national rate in rural America. This session will explore the challenges and best practices in identifying and supporting homeless students in rural communities.

Chloe Stein
Principal Policy Analyst
Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

Christina Dukes
Federal Liaison
National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)

Derrick Lambert
Senior Manager
No Kid Hungry campaign by Share Our Strength

Michelle Patton Swisher
School Social Worker
Spotsylvania County Schools
Lisa Dolan
Lead School Social Worker
Spotsylvania County Schools
Living with Loss and Healing from Homelessness: Support for Families Grieving the Loss of a Home

Living with Loss, Healing from Homelessness is a program that helps homeless families learn to process and cope with the loss and grief associated with homelessness. This session will cover how families can normalize their grief after losing a home and how others can support them in their grief.

Connie Palmer
Clinical Training Director
Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss

Highlighting Community Responses to Family Homelessness

How do approaches to family homelessness vary by community? This session will explore how Family Promise Affiliates in urban, suburban, and rural localities use existing local resources and work with different sectors to support families experiencing homelessness. Attendees will learn about unique local dynamics and challenges, and creative community-level solutions.

Joann Bjornson
Executive Director
Family Promise of Morris County NJ

Christine Carter-Love
Executive Director
Family Promise of Monmouth County NJ

Carolyn Gordon
Northeast Regional Director
Family Promise

Claas Ehlers
Family Promise

Building Safe Spaces: The Power of Creative Writing for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

Creative writing has the power to help us all better understand our past and take control of our own life stories. Attendees will learn how writing can be used as a tool for empowerment and healing, especially with vulnerable children and youth.

Rebecca Wallace-Segall
Executive Director
Writopia Lab

Danielle Sheeler
Director of Camps and Curriculum
Writopia Lab

Elsa Bermudez
Program Manager, Senior Instructor
Writopia Lab

Tierra Gunther
Program Associate
Homes for the Homeless

Homelessness and Child Welfare Systems: Partnering to Build Stronger and More Stable Families

Representatives from Prince George’s County, Maryland, will discuss how child welfare and supportive housing organizations in their community collaborated using funds from the Corporation for Supportive Housing One Roof Leadership Institute for Supportive Housing and Child Welfare Partnerships to create new supportive housing policies for child welfare in their community.

Renee Ensor Pope
Assistant Director, Community Services Division & Continuum of Care Lead
Prince George’s County Department of Social Services

Walter Jackson
Assistant Director, Child, Adult, and Family Services
Prince George’s County Department of Social Services

Stephen Liggett-Creel
Chief of Staff
Prince George’s County Department of Social Services

Improving School Attendance for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Model School-Shelter Partnership

Panelists will present a program developed by Gateway Housing, the NYC Department of Education, and the NYC Department of Homeless Services called Attendance Matters. This program uses data to identify causes of poor attendance and seeks to understand these causes by considering broader family issues.

Henry O. Love, PhD
Attendance Matters Project Manager
Gateway Housing

Ted Houghton
Gateway Housing

Doreen Thomann-Howe
Deputy Commissioner of Family Services
NYC Department of Homeless Services

2:45 pm–4:15 pm
Exploring the Health Behaviors and Experiences of Homeless High School Students

Join representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they discuss the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). What is this survey and how is it administered? Learn how the health behaviors and experiences of homeless youth differ from those of their peers. Hear how the data are used to support the health and well-being of homeless students and explore opportunities for collaboration. Find out how to advocate for adding a question about housing status to your state or local YRBS.

Mike Underwood
Chief, School-Based Surveillance Branch
Division of Adolescent and School Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Nancy Brener
Senior Health Scientist, School-Based Surveillance Branch
Division of Adolescent and School Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Smith-Grant
Epidemiologist, School-Based Surveillance Branch
Division of Adolescent and School Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Health Services Officer, United States Public Health Service

Paths to Employment

Job readiness. Workforce development. Phrases that have become buzzwords in the social services industry. But how can we go beyond standard employment prep programs to provide more opportunities for families experiencing housing instability? This session will dig into the value of youth internships, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships, and the social enterprise model from multiple direct service providers.

Symeria T. Hudson
President & CEO
Chapman Partnership

Thomas W. Evans
Young Adult Services Coordinator
Family Scholar House

Michael Fahy
Administrator, Saratoga Family Residence
Homes for the Homeless

Strengthening Children and Families Through Play & Laughter

Play is recognized by the UN as “a right of every child.” Essential to children’s development, it contributes to their cognitive, physical, and social/emotional well-being and offers parents opportunities to engage with children. This workshop will explore the benefits of play, barriers that limit access, and engagement in replicable family play activities.

Cathey Brown
Rainbow Days, Inc./The Trans4m Center

Kelly Wierzbinski
Director of Family Connection
Rainbow Days, Inc.

Early Childhood Homelessness State Profiles: Leveraging Data to Inform Policy

This session will examine how the USDE used McKinney-Vento and Early Head Start/Head Start data to create Early Child Homelessness State Profiles. It will also discuss the importance of leveraging data to inform policy and policymakers for these children at the local, state, and national levels.

Amy Yamashiro, EdD
Education Research Analyst
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development

Mandy Sorge
Senior Policy Analyst
National Governor’s Association

Marsha Basloe
Child Care Services Association, Chapel Hill

Coordinated Entry Racial Equity Analysis: Findings from a Multi-Community Study

Although designed to prioritize those with the greatest need, Coordinated Entry Systems may be perpetuating systemic racial inequities through the use of untested tools like the VI-SPADT. In this session, presenters will discuss their research on racial bias in relation to this formerly untested tool.

Nastacia Moore
SPARC Technical Assistance Coordinator
C4 Innovations

Rosie Donegan
Research Coordinator
C4 Innovations

Front and Center: A Successful Campaign to Spotlight the Issue of Homeless Children

This session will share the elements of a successful advocacy campaign in Vermont that spotlighted children experiencing homelessness and shifted the approach to homelessness policy statewide. Attendees will also workshop potential campaigns for their own communities.

Rita Markley
Executive Director
COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter)

Denise Fitzgerald Danyow
Finance Director
COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter)

Girl Scouts of Greater New York Troop 6000

Troop 6000 is a Girl Scout troop designed to serve girls and women living in NYC family shelters. Through weekly leadership-development meetings in 20 shelters across the city, Girl Scouts of Greater New York builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Troop meetings are led by trained troop leaders—a combination of parents also living in the shelter system and community-based volunteers. Hear about how the troop evolved, its impact on troop members and leaders, and how this Girl Scout experience could work in your community.

Nikita Stewart
Social Services Reporter
New York Times

Heidi Schmidt
Troop 6000
Girl Scouts of Greater New York

Valerie Weaver
Social Worker
Troop 6000

Cindy-Ann Ragbirsingh
Troop 6000

Girl Scout Ambassador

Girl Scout Senior

Girl Scout Cadette

Youth Voices: Experiences with Homelessness

This session is a facilitated discussion among youth from across the country who experienced homelessness during their K-12 education. They will discuss the challenges that they experienced in their education as well as the people, programs, and internal attributes that have helped them persist and achieve success.

Jordyn Roark
Director, Youth Leadership & Scholarship Program
SchoolHouse Connection

Kara Freise
SHC Young Leader, Student
SchoolHouse Connection

Miguel Cruz-Parrish
SHC Young Leader, Student
SchoolHouse Connection

Julio Colon
Lehman College

Bringing Education Home: Making Strategic Investments in Housing-Education Partnerships

Research is clear: students experiencing homelessness have worse educational outcomes. Attendees will learn how housing authorities and education partners are using data to support residents on their education path, building housing-education partnerships with a two-generational approach, re-engaging non-traditional students, and assessing the impact of post-secondary grant aid.

Abra Lyons-Warren
Senior Program & Policy Manager
Council of Large Public Housing Authorities

Cassandra Brooks
Assistant Director of Education
Chicago Housing Authority

Understanding Student Homelessness in New York City

This session brings together three research projects that investigate student homelessness in New York City. Attendees will learn the ways in which schools support homeless students and how homeless families navigate the school choice process. This session will provide important lessons for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.

Amanda Ragnauth
Senior Policy Analyst
Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

Zitsi Mirakhur, PhD
Research Associate
The Research Alliance for New York City Schools

Kathryn Hill, PhD
Research Associate
The Research Alliance for New York City Schools

Jennifer Jennings
Professor of Sociology & Public Affairs, Director of the Education Research Section
Princeton University

Sean Corcoran
Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education
Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness through Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Students experiencing homelessness have school needs that range from transportation to supplies. However, many students have additional needs that stem from chronic stress and trauma. This session will share specific school-based strategies from New York State’s first cohort of Trauma-Sensitive Schools grantees that will help homeless students thrive.

Arija Linauts
Senior Program Associate
NYS-TEACHS at Advocates for Children

Cindie Lembo
School Social Worker
White Plains City School District

Using Dashboards to Make Human Services Data "Human"

There is often a disconnect between human-centered services and data analysis. This session will explore how Allegheny County (PA) Department of Human Services uses visually engaging dashboards to put data in the hands of the stakeholders who can use it best.

Lisa Kessler
Data Analyst
Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Courtney Lewis
Transition Age Youth System Coordinator
Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Empowering Homeless Communities through Safe and Affordable Bank Access

Over 63 million adults in the U.S. are unbanked or underbanked, spending up to $40,000 in a lifetime on unnecessary fees for alternative financial services. This session will share strategies that build sustainable financial empowerment programs to connect homeless and low-income communities to safe, affordable, and functional bank accounts.

Rachel Borné
Career Center Manager
Our House, Inc.

I-Hsing Sun
CFE Fund Chief Program Officer
Cities for Financial Empowerment

Friday January 17

Click on individual sessions for more info
9:15 am–10:45 am
Domestic Violence and Housing Stability: Demographics and Dynamics Among Survivors in Shelter in NYC

This session will present an analysis of New York City Department of Social Services data showing demographic characteristics of the domestic violence (DV) and non-DV populations in shelter. It will also present recommendations to prevent domestic violence and improve services for survivors.

Selcuk Eren
Senior Economist
Office of the New York City Comptroller

Alyson Silkowski
Associate Policy Director
Office of the New York City Comptroller

Driving Change with Education Data Metrics

Attendees will learn strategies for using data to evaluate areas of need, set goals, and demonstrate success. Discover what data systems are available and explore examples of work across the country that use the evaluation of data to change the lives of students experiencing homelessness.

Barbara Duffield
Executive Director
SchoolHouse Connection

Jennifer Erb-Downward
Senior Research Associate
University of Michigan, Poverty Solutions

Ian Rosenblum
Executive Director
The Education Trust–New York

Daniel Zavala
Director of Policy and Strategic Communications
Building Changes

Implementing CCDF Final Rule: North Carolina's Efforts to Implement Provisions that Increase Access to Child Care Subsidies for Families Experiencing Homelessness

This session focuses on a two-year initiative aimed at reaching out to homeless families and housing providers to increase participation in subsidized childcare. Participants will learn about the specific strategies used and will receive a template to create an outreach plan.

Grace Whitney, PhD
Director, Early Childhood Initiatives
SchoolHouse Connection

Marsha Basloe
Child Care Services Association, Chapel Hill

Beth Branagan
School Social Worker & Homeless Education Liaison
Transylvania County Schools

Blueprint for Community Change for Child and Family Homelessness

Forming community coalitions can be a way to better understand the challenges homeless families face in a community. In this session, attendees will be provided with an in-depth discussion of a community change process in Texas and the opportunity to develop their own blueprint for change.

Carol Klocek
Center for Transforming Lives

Erika Thompson, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health

Housing-based Employment Services for Families

This session will explore how Crossroads Rhode Island integrated case management and employment services to support housing placement and retention for homeless families. Presenters will also discuss how to use SNAP Employment and Training funds to provide a cash match for every non-federal dollar invested in education and training programs.

Bernice Morris
Director, Education & Employment Services
Crossroads Rhode Island

Mary Lou Wernig
Housing-based Employment Specialist
Crossroads Rhode Island

Homelessness Doesn't Occur in a Vacuum: Contextualizing Homelessness Among College Students

Pregnant and parenting students are disproportionately impacted by college homelessness. This workshop will present new research on college homelessness, highlight the latest legislation impacting this community, spotlight one university’s approach to serving homeless students, and honor voices of students with current and lived experiences of homelessness.

Shahera Hyatt
California Homeless Youth Project

State Rankings of Accountability for Homeless Students

The ability of homeless children to access needed educational supports is often determined by where that child lives. This session will discuss states’ efforts to identify and support homeless students and highlight not only the importance of and best practices in identifying these students, but the challenges faced by states, and the complexity of evaluating these efforts.

Josef Kannegaard
Principal Policy Analyst
Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

Rebecca Derenge
State Coordinator for McKinney-Vento “Homeless Education”
West Virginia Department of Education

Toby Portner
McKinney-Vento Coordinator, Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY)
Hawaii Department of Education, Office of Student Support Services

Brianna Levy
Social Worker, Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY)
Hawaii Department of Education, Office of Student Support Services

Dona Bolt
State Coordinator, McKinney-Vento Program
Oregon Department of Education

Kristine Nadolski
McKinney-Vento State Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Karen Rice
McKinney-Vento State Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

CANCELLED: Understanding the Complex Media Landscape Surrounding Family Homelessness

We’re still finalizing details for next year’s program. Subscribe for updates as we complete the agenda.

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Using Human-Centered Design to Transform Services for At-Risk Students

In this session, leaders from the NYC Department of Education and Public Policy Lab will share how they use human-centered design approaches to drive innovation. Participants will learn about the human-centered research and design process and identify opportunities to apply these methodologies in their own work.

Chelsea Mauldin
Executive Director
Public Policy Lab

Michael Hickey
Executive Director, Students in Temporary Housing
New York City Department of Education

Adolescent Homelessness and Long-term Educational and Workforce Outcomes: New Evidence from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System

This session will present new research findings on the role of adolescent homelessness in long-term college and workforce outcomes from a statewide repository of K-12, post-secondary, and workforce data called the Maryland Longitudinal Data System.

Bess A. Rose, EdD
Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center

Collaborative Approaches to Ending Student Homelessness: Early Lessons from Minnesota’s “Homework Starts with Home” Initiative

Minnesota’s Homework Starts with Home initiative partners homeless service providers and educators to help homeless students succeed. This session will present the initiative’s research partnership with the University of Minnesota and share the program’s outcomes.

Eric Grumdahl
Director of Special Projects
Minnesota Department of Education

Ann Masten, PhD
Regents Professor, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development & Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

It Takes a Village: The Importance of Community Partnering to Support the Complex Needs of Children Experiencing Homelessness

To continuously enhance its services, Horizons for Homeless Children thoughtfully integrates philosophies and best practices of like-minded organizations. This session will highlight one such partnership discussing how the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Boston Children’s Hospital has helped Horizons evolve to result in better outcomes for families and children facing the challenges of homelessness.

Kate Barrand
President & CEO
Horizons for Homeless Children

Jayne Singer, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, Director of Development & Relational Health
Boston Children’s Hospital, Brazelton Touchpoints Center

Using an Ecological Perspective to Screen Young Children for Risk and Resilience

Developmental screening of children living in poverty and experiencing homelessness is a significant gap in community practice. Attendees will learn about a new neurodevelopmental tool to screen children and their caregivers for risk and resilience and how to apply the tool to their own practice.

Carmela J. DeCandia, PhD
Owner & President
Artemis Associates, LLC

Katie Volk
Senior Project Director
C4 Innovations

11:00 am–12:30 pm
The Latest in Education-focused Partnerships Across Programs and Systems

Attaining access to post-secondary education for homeless students is a struggle. Attendees will learn about federal programs and funds, such as the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YDHP) and the Perkins Act, that can support homeless students’ entry into and academic success in post-secondary institutions.

Christina Dukes
Federal Liaison
National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)

Improving Student Outcomes and Strengthening Families Through the Power of Two-Generational Intervention and School-Based Partnerships

This session will unpack how nonprofits can partner with public schools to tackle effects of family homelessness and student achievement through two-generational programming. Panelists will provide practical guidance on how to effectively improve outcomes without a funded partnership.

Erin Morris
Program Manager
A Child’s Place

Kimberly Caldwell
Program Manager
A Child’s Place

Sonia Jenkins, EdS
McKinney-Vento Specialist
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Whole Family Engagement in Supportive Housing

Moving from an adult-focused case management model to a whole-family approach can be a challenging transition for a supportive housing provider. In this session, supportive housing providers will share their experiences with changing their models. Attendees will create a draft “action plan” mapping out how they could better support families.

Laura Bass
Director of Programs
Facing Forward to End Homelessness

Robret Simpson
Director of Operations
Facing Forward to End Homelessness

Azalea Acuña
Program Coordinator
La Casa Norte

Understanding the Needs of Different Family Structures

This session will explore the different approaches and considerations when working with distinct and often underserved family structures such as young parents, homeless fathers, veteran mothers, and parents living apart from their children. Attendees will learn how service providers can better meet the needs of specific family types.

Andrew Palomo, PhD
Director of Community Strategies
National Network for Youth

Amanda Dolan
National Service Coordinator
Our House, Inc.

Guy Bowling
Workforce Development Manager
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota FATHER Project

Megan Pfeiffer
Re-Entry Social Worker
Hour Children

Adam Huron
Vice President of Family Transitional and Daycare Services

Supporting Community Lead Action: Fighting for Justice

The “Set Up to Fail” report looks at how rapid rehousing programs harmed many families in Washington, DC. In this session, formerly homeless community members will share how they felt the services meant to help them ultimately failed them and the strategies they used to make social change.

Kristi Matthews
Kressley Fellow for Grass Roots Advocacy & Grass Roots Advocacy Coordinator
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

LaJuan Brooks
Administrative Assistant
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Ashley Rhodes
Founding Member
Rapid Rehousing Workgroup

Tineshea Woodson
Founding Member
Rapid Rehousing Workgroup

Education Leads Home: A National Campaign to Improve Educational Outcomes for America’s Homeless Students

Public schools identified 1.5 million homeless students during SY 2017-2018, in addition to an estimated 1.3 million children under the age of six. Education Leads Home is a national campaign focused on improving educational outcomes for these students, raising awareness of key challenges, and increasing implementation of proven practices and policies. Attendees will learn more about the campaign’s three goals, the work being done across the country to achieve them, and how this can be incorporated into their own work.

Barbara Duffield
Executive Director
SchoolHouse Connection

Matthew Atwell
Senior Research and Policy Analyst

Emily Webb
Policy Assistant

Building and Evaluating Your Advocacy Agenda

Advocacy work is vital to ensuring that the needs of homeless families and students are addressed in communities. Panelists will share the challenges faced and lessons learned in the areas of public policy advocacy, community engagement, and minimizing the stigma of homelessness by inviting those who have lived the experience to be part of the conversation.

Raysa Rodriguez
Associate Executive Director for Policy & Advocacy
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

Carlos T. Carter
Executive Director
Homeless Children’s Education Fund

Brian Knight
Manager of Community Engagement
Homeless Children’s Education Fund

Adina Lichtman
Knock Knock Give a Sock

Josefa Silva
Director, Policy & Advocacy

Putting Children First in Programming

Shelters are more than a place for families to sleep. Providing access to robust programming for children—from birth through college—while they are living in a shelter cannot be underestimated. Explore innovative programming options (and funding) that give kids, and their parents, access to quality pre-K, sports teams, on-site art therapy, and more.

Annamaria Santoro
Senior Director of Operations
Homes for the Homeless

Michael Chapman
Director of Afterschool and Recreation, Saratoga Family Residence
Homes for the Homeless

Sarah Steward
Chief Operating Officer
HomeFront, Inc.

Jaymes Sime
Executive Director

Development of In-house Subsidy Programs for Families Experiencing Homelessness

This session will share details about efforts used to assist with locating low-income housing opportunities. Attendees will learn how to cultivate relationships with landlords to support homeless families and how to implement an in-house rental subsidy program.

Cheree Webster-Jones
Assistant Director of Education
Drueding Center

Ron Allen
Director of Community Services
Drueding Center

Sherlonda Dozier
Housing Counselor
Drueding Center

The Big Idea: Cracking the Code on Chronic Absenteeism

Eight million students are chronically absent each year—meaning they miss a month or more of school. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the effects of chronic absenteeism on academic achievement and acquire an attendance toolkit developed through NYC’s Community School Initiative and its “Every Student, Every Day” campaign.

Sarah Peterson
Director of Research & Development
Office of Community Schools, New York City Department of Education

Cruz Vargas Sullivan
Research and Development Analyst
Office of Community Schools, New York City Department of Education

Strategic Partnerships Between Homeless Service Providers and the Healthcare Sector

The healthcare sector is embracing the importance of “social determinants of health,” and creating opportunities for homeless service providers to build strategic partnerships with health care stakeholders. Presenters will share the results of one such partnership and describe the characteristics of strong partnerships between these sectors.

Ben Goodwin
Executive Director
Our House, Inc.

Cindy Crone
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

The Health and Well-Being of Homeless High School Students: Lessons from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey

This session will take a closer look at the mental, emotional, and physical health needs of homeless high school students across the country. Attendees will learn tangible action steps to promote safety and health for students experiencing homelessness.

Rachel Barth
Senior Policy Analyst
Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

Kara Freise
SchoolHouse Connection Young Leader, Student
SchoolHouse Connection

Patricia Julianelle
Director of Program Advancement and Legal Affairs
SchoolHouse Connection

Tools to Enhance Families' Access to Early Childhood Care and Education Programs

Attendees will learn how to use a set of free, online resources and learning modules designed to help professionals build their knowledge and practice skills through “real-life” interactive scenarios called Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness.

Jennifer Drake
Director, Family & Community Engagement
Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA)

Judith Sikora
Senior Family & Community Engagement Specialist
Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA)

2:15 pm–3:00 pm
Social Capital: Vital Relationships for At-Risk Families

Many families at risk of or experiencing homelessness may lack social networks to lean on in times of difficulty. Attendees will learn how the Neighborhoods of Support program connects homeless families with members of the local community to provide necessary social capital to these families.

Kristi Kubicki
Program Consultation Specialist
Bridge of Hope National

San Leandro Homeless Compact

Attendees will learn about an innovative collaborative that addresses chronic homelessness in the City of San Leandro. Attendees will learn how street outreach can be conducted by officers, case managers, and others to successfully house and shelter chronically homeless seniors, adults, and families.

Jeanette Dong
Director, Recreation and Human Services
City of San Leandro Department of Recreation and Human Services

Joe Camarillo
San Leandro Police Officer, Homeless Unit
City of San Leandro Police Department

Liz Varela
Executive Director
Building Futures

Aloha! Collaboration in Paradise

In Hawaii, generating trust between educators and agencies serving families and youth has unique geographic and cultural challenges. The Hawaii Department of Education’s McKinney-Vento coordinator and HEAR US Inc. will present a documentary discussing the unique challenges of working with homeless students in Hawaii.

Diane Nilan

Toby Portner
Hawaii McKinney-Vento Coordinator
Hawaii Department of Education

People and Animals Living Safely: Co-living with Pets in Shelter Settings

Escaping a domestic violence situation can be complicated when survivors are worried about leaving their pets behind. Attendees will learn about Urban Resource Institute’s People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) co-living program that welcomes families into emergency domestic violence shelter with their pets.

Danielle Emery
People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) Director
Urban Resource Institute

Jennifer White-Reid
Vice President of Domestic Violence Residential & Legal Programs
Urban Resource Institute

Jenny Coffey
Director of Community Engagement
Animal Haven Shelter

Supporting Refugee Families Into Early Exits from Homelessness

This session will lead participants through the concepts of homelessness prevention, diversion, and rapid re-housing for refugee families. Results from research with refugee families accessing emergency shelter will be used to understand the nuances of these various upstream approaches.

Abe Oudshoorn, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing, Western University

Collective Impact Supporting College Transition for Homeless Youth

Homeless youth experience unique challenges when they transition into post-secondary education after high school. Attendees will learn about a county-wide Homeless Youth Task Force as well as numerous programs that were created to support homeless teens through the college application process and toward college completion in San Bernardino, CA.

Donald English
Program Manager of Child Welfare & Attendance Programs
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Paul Durham
Program Manager of Foster Youth Services Coordinating Programs
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Brenda Dowdy
Homeless Education Program Specialist
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Stand In for Homeless Children: Turning Awareness into Action

Student homelessness is invisible despite its dramatic national rise. Attendees will learn how The City Mission collaborated with over 100 churches to raise awareness of student homelessness and how this collaboration culminated in a community awareness event called Stand In for Homeless Children.

Rich Trickel
The City Mission

Heather Foote
Director of Project Management
The City Mission


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Connecting Young Children Experiencing Homelessness with Early Care and Education Services

Access to early care and education programs is vital for families experiencing homelessness. In this session, presenters will provide an overview of early care and education programs that are tailored to homeless families and share a tool to help connect families with early care and education programs in their communities.

Jennifer Pringle
Project Director
NYS-TEACHS at Advocates for Children

Dona Anderson
Deputy Executive Director
New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at CUNY

Just in Time Life Skill Interventions: The Role of Occupational Therapy in Supportive Housing

Occupational therapy in supportive housing can assist homeless families in developing their life skills, coping skills, and interpersonal skills. In this session, presenters will share how occupational therapists can provide just in time life skill interventions that are a central part of services for homeless families.

Laura Menze
Occupational Therapist
Lydia’s House

Meridith Owensby
Lydia’s House

When Caring Hurts: Managing Compassion Fatigue and Burnout

Homeless service providers are at high risk for compassion fatigue and burnout. This interactive workshop will empower service providers with knowledge and tools to manage compassion fatigue and find a necessary work-life balance.

Jamie Meyer
Vice President of EFFINITY Training & Education
Metropolitan Ministries

Beyond Academics: How Students Who Have Experienced Homelessness Navigate Higher Education

Homeless graduate students face unique challenges when navigating higher education. This session uses first-hand accounts to provide insight into these experiences. Attendees will be provided with strategies to effectively serve homeless graduate students.

James P. Canfield, PhD
Assistant Professor
Louisiana State University

Leslie Kokotech
Doctoral Student
University of Cincinnati

Dana Harley, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Cincinnati

Sacred Homes: Developing Partnerships with Faith Communities

Faith communities can be a powerful resource in propelling families out of poverty. In this session, Homestretch will present their Sacred Homes partnership, which connects faith communities to families and works to increase faith community donations to the cause of family homelessness.

Christopher Fay
Executive Director

Ken Bradford
Development Director

We’re still finalizing details for next year’s program. Subscribe for updates as we complete the agenda.

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Notable Speakers
Notable Speakers

See our list of Keynote Speakers—you won't want to miss their compelling and relevant insights.

Workshop Breakouts
Workshop Breakouts

Learn new ideas and strategies from the people and organizations making a difference.


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