For individuals that have had a long history of homelessness there is a psychological adaptation that occurs. The experience of being homeless and spending most days trying to meet basic needs becomes normal as a survival mechanism. The individual’s social network – if there is one – tends to be comprised mainly of others that have experienced homelessness for long periods of time. All of this is are common – if not expected – adaptations to combat the stressors of long-term homelessness. It helps ensure survival.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
Recently I was in a community where a rather large service provider proclaimed that less than 10 of the households they served in the past year experienced recidivism. I was in awe. I wanted to know more. This could be the secret sauce! The holy grail of homelessness! The Colonel’s secret recipe!
But alas, it was all for nothing.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
This week I am unveiling our new Recovery-oriented Housing Support Training. One of the areas I felt it necessary to add more time and attention is related to the importance of expressing and exercising empathetic conversation. Being appreciative of the client’s thoughts, feelings and experience is important to meaningful support, but too often I have seen well-intentioned support workers miss the boat when it comes to creating an environment conducive to an empathetic connection.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
Last night I had the chance to ride along with an outreach team in Calgary. It was pretty darn cold…less than -25C with the wind chill. I love doing outreach. It takes me back to my days doing community development work and street outreach. It helps me stay grounded in that part of the reality of the front line.
The people I did outreach with were two fabulous women. I’d like to dedicate this blog to the elements of them that I was so impressed by.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
For more than a decade, in the role of policy-development, as a service practitioner and as a researcher, I have been investigating and trying to understand the allure of Transitional Housing. I have been interested in the outputs and outcomes that Transitional Housing can demonstrate relative to other housing models. I have been interested in the planning processes used for Transitional Housing – from the needs analysis to understanding the population to be served to securing financing to the urban planning and architectural features of Transitional Housing. From a system perspective I have been working to comprehend where it fits in, for which populations and under what circumstances.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
This is a very personal blog about my journey to accept my mental illness and to acknowledge how it has helped me to become a much better person, practitioner and teacher.
We all seek meaning in life. We want to do things that enrich us emotionally, intellectually, socially, recreationally and spiritually. Indeed, the world can seem like a cold place when we don’t have this multi-faceted enrichment.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
My thanks for the blog request on this specific topic.
I’d be hard pressed to think of a housing support worker/case manager that deliberately tries to make the life of any client worse. People go into this type of work because they tend to want to help others. But I think we need to take time to reflect on when helping becomes hurting – even when it is unintentional…when our actions aren’t actually helpful at all. Understanding the differences between enabling our clients and supporting our clients is an important part of self-reflection as a practitioner and is an essential distinction to be made in the type of help we are providing to people.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
We’re winding down another year here at OrgCode. Heck, we’re even going to shut the door and turn off the phones for a week between Christmas and the New Year and that will be a first since we re-booted the company in Q4 2009.
God rest us merry gentlemen and gentlewomen.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
I have been a funder. I have been a practitioner. I remain a researcher. I am a faculty member at a rather excellent university. I am now a consultant.
I am going to do my best to not make this blog a rant. In my attempt to remain professional, allow me to make this an open letter to all funders of homeless and housing programs for marginalized populations, as well as administrators of community-based grants programs.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
Harm reduction approaches can be seen as controversial when working with many populations, including unaccompanied youth. Some will cite reasons pertaining to the illicit nature of certain substances, the age of maturity, psychosocial development and the like. Others hold on to the “just say no” mantra.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share