Tuesday, February 28, 2023
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Minnesota Tribal Collaborative Pre-Conference Forum

Are you part of a tribal nation and want to figure out how to access funding and resources to address homelessness? Join the Minnesota Tribal Collaborative for a pre-conference forum, Tuesday Feb. 28 from 11:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. Learn how a collaborative of six Minnesota tribal nations combine sovereignty, collaboration, and data to successfully pursue policy and fundraising goals aimed at preventing and ending homelessness in tribal communities.

This pre-conference forum is sponsored by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and lunch will be provided. Unfortunately, the Alliance is not able to offer virtual attendance for this event. If you are interested in attending, please contact by February 17 to RSVP.[/graycallout]

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Name Badge Pick-up
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Name Badge Pick-up 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Lunch On Own 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Opening Plenary with Ann Oliva, CEO 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Transformation Talks (10 minutes each)
TT1 When it Works: What's It Like to Navigate All These Systems? TT2 Centering Lived Experience: How to Grow in Advocacy TT3 Not Just Doctors and Lawyers TT4 What's Occupational Therapy? How to use the The Power of Everyday Activities to End Homelessness TT5 Ending Homelessness is Still Hard When You've Got a Library Card TT6 Directing the Directors: Bringing Lived Experience to Your Board TT7 Risky Business: Understanding How 3 Risk Factors for Unsheltered Youth Leads to Housing Connections TT8 Homeless to Housed: Walking the Journey of Accessing Mainstream Benefits
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Workshops I
1.01 Addressing Co-Morbidities in Older Adult Homelessness
Older adults experiencing homelessness age faster than the general population, and this demographic is only growing. This session will discuss evidence-based practices and innovative initiatives to assist older adults experiencing homelessness with mental health needs, substance use disorders, and physical ailments.
1.02 From Unsheltered to Housed: Ensuring Connections
Quickly connecting individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness to housing helps reduce the trauma of homelessness. In this session, attendees will learn about effective housing-focused street outreach engagement strategies and keys to ensuring a successful housing connection. This provider-focused session will review strategies that are proven to get people off the streets and into housing quickly.
1.03 The Power of Sharing: Rehousing More People Through Shared Housing
Systems commonly have limited resources to rehouse people. Shared housing can help. In this session, learn about the benefits of shared housing on both an individual and systemic level. Presenters will share tools and models to help implement shared housing in your own community.
1.04 Getting the Federal Funding Resources and Policies We Need
What policies and funding programs are Congress and the Administration considering that would have the greatest impact in reducing unsheltered homelessness? What action steps can people experiencing homelessness and their allies take to promote funding and implementation of those programs and policies? Explore what you need to know and do to create lasting progress in the movement to end unsheltered homelessness.
1.05 Centering Racial Equity in our Homeless Response Systems: Being Intentional and Thinking Strategically
This session will demonstrate ways communities can transform their systems to advance racial equity, and be responsive and accountable to equitable outcomes. Participants will also discuss ways communities can take advantage of funding opportunities to support equity work.
1.06 Rejecting Tokenism By Truly Leveraging the Power of Lived Experience
Engaging the ideas, initiative, and expertise of people experiencing homelessness is key to crafting innovative and effective solutions to homelessness. But creating partnerships to lift up lived expertise, and avoid pitfalls of extraction and tokenism, requires care and creativity. Two houseless leaders and a housed ally will walk through their process of forging their partnership, and the powerful, experience-driven solutions that are now emerging from their collaboration.
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. | Spotlight Sessions I
S1.01 Coordinating Between Overlapping Outreach Entities
More and more entities, from CoCs, faith-based organizations, volunteer mutual aid groups, and County health departments are conducting outreach to individuals that are unsheltered. Hear from organizations that have stood up effective outreach coordination infrastructures to leverage each others’ efforts.
S1.02 Understanding the Reality of Encampments
Encampments are not a new phenomenon, but have become more widespread in recent years – leading to speculation on the true causes and realities of living in encampments. In this session, hear the research on the causes of encampments and the firsthand accounts of realities many unhoused neighbors face.
S1.03 One Community's Journey to Creatively House the Unsheltered
There are no easy answers to the question of how to rehouse people with limited resources. This session will highlight how one community is creatively approaching housing for unsheltered people, and the multiple strategies involved.
S1.04 Justice Under Attack: Protecting the Legal Rights of Those Without Shelter
What legal protections exist for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness who are regularly being violated or are under attack? This session will provide an overview of the greatest threats to the legal protection of people experiencing homelessness, discuss the inequitable access to justice, and identify potential allies and champions to advance true justice for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
S1.05 The Numbers are Alarming: Why is Homelessness Growing among Latino Populations In LA?
This spotlight will provide insight into why we are seeing an increase in homelessness in the Latino population and what issues or gaps in services should be considered to improve outcomes.
S1.06 Street Outreach as Accompaniment
Discussing “Street Outreach as Accompaniment,” we will reflect on shelter and housing programs in Cleveland with positive outcomes for unsheltered clients. The session will provide a framework for training/hiring folks with lived experience, empowering them to do street outreach and foster peer-to-peer relationships. Finally, we will highlight the activism and advocacy necessary for building trust and power in the unsheltered community, looking at local direct actions and community responses.
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Meet & Mingle Reception
Thursday, March 2, 2023
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. | Yoga & Seated Meditation 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | Breakfast 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Name Badge Pick-up 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | USICH Listening Session 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Workshops II
2.01 Supporting Unsheltered Neighbors in an Era of Rising Climate Emergencies
Wildfires, severe heat, flooding, and other extreme conditions are on the rise, increasing the risks to our unsheltered neighbors. Learn how disaster response frameworks can help jurisdictions and providers plan for these conditions and stage an effective response to protect individuals who are unsheltered.
2.02 Addressing Violence Against Our Unhoused Neighbors
People experiencing homelessness are much more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. How can we better protect our unhoused neighbors? How do we help people experiencing unsheltered homelessness with the healing process? Learn how communities have decreased violence against people experiencing homelessness and how they have minimized or prevented police interaction in encampments, emergency shelters, and the streets.
2.03 Finding Units that Accept Subsidies: Overcoming Barriers
Vouchers and housing subsidies are an effective way of stabilizing housing for people experiencing homelessness. However, communities across America often find it difficult to identify enough available units willing to accept them. This session will highlight available research and promising practices being implemented by communities.
2.04 Improving Assistance to Older Adults: Integrated and Comprehensive Care
Assisting older adults experiencing homelessness, particularly unsheltered homelessness, requires a different set of skills and supports than most homeless providers typically provide. Existing shelter structures or program elements can force older adults to fend for themselves in unsafe environments, taking a further toll on their health. This workshop will explore the partnerships and resources that can offer specialized support to older adults experiencing homelessness and help support transitions to permanent housing arrangements. This session will also explore the importance of data to advance progress on behalf of older adults and ensure ongoing attention to equity.
2.05 Building Connections to Improve Outreach and Services to Unsheltered BIPOC populations
Most BIPOC groups have the highest rates of homelessness in the nation. This session will explore why BIPOC are more likely to be overrepresented in the homelessness system and ways organizations can re-think service provision, partnerships with BIPOC led orgs, and the role of Lived Expertise, to build trust and be responsive to the unique needs of BIPOC.
2.06 The Rebellious Allyship of Street Medicine
Many outreach workers provide care, and ally with street medicine groups out of necessity. Our participants often present with complex medical needs, inclusive of drug use and mental health concerns. They are often not treated well in traditional ED or clinical settings, shamed or literally abused. Bringing basic health care with allies who have earned the trust of the individuals on the street is a critical piece to saving lives.
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | Plenary
Lunch will be served following the plenary presentations.
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Lunch 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Spotlight Sessions II
S2.01 Harm Reduction Saves Lives: Strategies for Encampments
With data showing rising overdose mortality among people who are unsheltered, including from fentanyl, it is more essential than ever for CoCs, providers, and local jurisdictions to explore how to bring harm reduction strategies to neighbors on the street. Learn long- and short-term strategies while also exploring the potential legal barriers to overcome.
S2.02 Making the Case: Effectively Engaging Local Leadership to Address Encampments
Garnering political will is crucial to effectively addressing unsheltered homelessness. In this session, communities will share how they have successfully engaged local officials to prioritize evidenced-based solutions over criminalization and sweeps.
S2.03 Research Spotlight: Large Scale Efforts to Understand Unsheltered Homelessness and Barriers to Rehousing
University of California – San Francisco’s Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative is wrapping up a statewide study on homelessness. In-depth interviews and other analyses shed light on barriers to rehousing for people in the state with the largest unsheltered population. This session will showcase these findings and provide ideas for overcoming common barriers in unsheltered homelessness.
S2.04 Disrupting the Cycle: Criminal Legal System Involvement and Homelessness
This spotlight session will explore strategies to detangle the many intersections of criminal legal system involvement and homelessness. Presenters will discuss the disparate treatment of people of color and those with disabilities within the criminal legal system, as these inequities can exacerbate risk of homelessness. This session will engage audience members in an exploration of needed policy reforms and programs to prevent and end homelessness for those with criminal legal system touchpoints, and the need for greater criminal legal system reform to advance social justice.
S2.05 Ending Homelessness is About Racial Justice
Any approach to address homelessness must acknowledge the complex role that racism plays in issues like access to housing and sustainability. This spotlight will explore the connection between ending homelessness and racial justice. It will cover key concepts like systems transformation, power sharing, and targeted universalism.
S2.06 Housing Our Relatives: Serving Unsheltered Native Americans While Leveraging Funding Allies
Mother Nation’s Waatunwan Program (Meaning: Searching for Relations in Lakota language) uses Flex funding and partners with Funders who look to support innovative approaches to housing. Mother Nations uses cultural approaches to engage unsheltered Relatives (Relatives – Individuals identified as unsheltered) by meeting Relatives where they are, with the use of Harm Reduction, Cultural Practices (Native American Smudging, song, prayer and traditional foods etc) to move into stable housing.
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Transformation Talks (10 minutes each)
TT9 Five Critical Aspects of Successful Landlord Engagement TT11 Untangling How We're Seen: Understanding Black Hair, Its History, and Homelessness TT12 Turning Hotels into Housing TT13 Digging in to LGBTQ and Racial Equity at Your Organization TT14 House Hunters, Gen Z Edition TT15 Why Consumer Choice Matters TT16 How Low-Barrier Recuperative Care Can Provide Successful Transitions to Permanent Housing TT17 Helping the Helpers: Strategies for Helping Outreach Workers
2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Workshops III
3.01 Alternatives to Armed Crisis Response: Integrating Emerging Models with the Homeless Services System
More and more municipalities are exploring alternatives to armed crisis response to address non-violent crisis calls. This workshop will explore how to integrate these and other behavioral health resources with existing homeless response systems.
3.02 Ensuring Access: Guide to Creating an Effective Shelter
High-barrier shelters can lead to more individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness in communities. In this session, hear about the components of an effective shelter, and how it can be used to meet the short term needs of individuals living in encampments.
3.03 How To Shift a Culture: Building Power Through Lived Experience
Let’s think big about the structural and cultural shifts needed to build the power of people with lived experience of homelessness. Learn about the ways equitable compensation and support structures can play a role in meaningful movement building. Join us in a discussion on how to design opportunities for people with lived experience with an anti-tokenization focus – opportunities that are meaningful, fulfilling, and impactful.
3.04 Engaging Health Care Partners and Their Resources to End Unsheltered Homelessness
Medicaid and other health care funding resources are increasingly being mobilized to help people with serious health, mental health, and behavioral health disabilities to exit homelessness. This workshop will examine the use of health care resources for housing interventions and the provision of support services, including for those who need help meeting activities of daily living. This session will explore policy opportunities and strategies to leverage health care resources to create meaningful collaboration across service sectors.
3.05 Addressing Discrimination Against Unsheltered LGBTQ+ Youth of Color
LGBTQ+ youth of color experience unique and magnified forms of discrimination because they belong to more than one marginalized community. Attendees will learn about strategies to improve outcomes among this group. A great emphasis will be placed on trainings and anti-discrimination policies that ensure BIPOC LGBTQ+ youth of color receive supportive services, shelter, and housing free from discrimination.
3.06 No ODs with Housekeys
People who use drugs are at increased risk of overdose when they transition into housing, particularly for people who have moved from community supports on the street to using alone in permanent supportive housing. Panelists will share successful approaches used to reduce this risk and engage people who use drugs in the implementation of programs. This will be a multi-disciplinary shared presentation and discussion that centers the experience of people who use drugs who have transitioned into PSH. It will give a new understanding of the different roles peers and staff fulfill within overdose prevention, and how to value them independently for increased community engagement and success.
4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Workshops IV
4.01 Building a Team: Bringing Cross-System Services to Encampments
Individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness have an array of needs that homeless outreach workers may be unable to address on their own. Presenters will discuss strategies to build the cross-system partnerships that can deepen the expertise and resources available to assist those living in encampments. Building connections with domestic violence providers, mental health agencies, and legal advocacy services will be a particular focus of discussion.
4.02 Doing No Harm: Guide to Effective Encampment Resolution
Encampment sweeps are proven to be ineffective strategies when addressing unsheltered homelessness. Any strategy to resolve encampments should be person-centered and housing-focused. In this session, hear from communities who have resolved encampments effectively and equitably.
4.03 Extending Rapid ReHousing to people with Multiple Barriers: What We Know and Don't Know
Recent research suggests that unsheltered people are more likely to experience multiple challenges tied to health and well-being. Many communities are offering Rapid Re-Housing subsidies to this population. What do we know about how well Rapid Re-Housing is working for people with multiple barriers? What more do we need to learn? This session will identify ways communities are overcoming these challenges and how they can best use Rapid Re-Housing to house unsheltered people.
4.04 Engaging Public Housing Authorities and Housing Developers
The roll-out of Emergency Housing Vouchers during the COVID-19 pandemic cast a light on the challenges and complexities of effective partnerships between CoCs, housing developers, and PHAs. Communities will share how they created close relationships with their PHAs during this process: what worked, what didn’t, and how we can best work together to ensure people experiencing homelessness are prioritized for public housing and vouchers.
4.05 Identifying and Implementing Behavioral Health Strategies with Special Attention to Racial Trauma
Mental health and substance use disorders disproportionately affect people experiencing homelessness – racial trauma compounds these effects. This session will explore solutions that address behavioral health challenges exacerbated by homelessness and racism, with a housing first approach. Also, this session will cover culturally specific approaches and racially conscious trauma-informed care to help providers navigate the complexities of behavioral health and permanent housing.
4.06 Two Essential Ways to improve Housing Problem Solving in your Community
This interactive session will explore how housing problem solving is evolving through the full incorporation of people with lived experience of homelessness. As part of this discussion, participants will address the opportunities to use housing problem solving in the emerging practice of sharing housing, and how it can effectively prevent, divert, and rapidly exit people experiencing homelessness into housing, even in high-rent, low-vacancy communities.
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | HUD SNAPS Q&A
Friday, March 3, 2023
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. | Yoga & Seated Meditation 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. | Breakfast 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Name Badge Pick-up 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | HUD Listening Session 8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. | Round Table Discussions 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Workshops V
5.01 Hygiene is Health: Improving Encampment Conditions with Hygiene Investments
Dumpsters, bathrooms, wash stations: the things that housed individuals take for granted make a massive impact in supporting the health and well being individuals that are unsheltered. This workshop explores how to connect these resources to encampments.
5.02 Centering the Experts: Ensuring People with Lived Experience are Driving the Response to Encampments
Making decisions on encampments without appropriate information can have a grave impact on individuals living there. Communities must ensure that people with lived experience are centered in the decision-making process around encampment resolution. Learn how communities have uplifted the experiences of individuals closest to encampments to systemically address unsheltered homelessness.
5.03 Lessons Learned from Roomkey and Homekey: Ways to Shelter and Expand Available Units
California’s Roomkey provided non-congregate shelter during the pandemic. Homekey has been successfully purchasing and rehabilitating existing properties to create housing opportunities. Lessons learned from Roomkey and Homekey can have long-term impacts on how communities seerve and rehouse people experiencing homelessness.
5.04 Authentic Engagement: Meaningful Involvement of People with Lived Expertise in System & Service Planning
How can your Continuum of Care and organization ensure that you are meaningfully engaging people with lived experience and honor their contributions? This workshop will provide principles for authentic engagement and explore strategies that elevate the voices of persons with lived expertise across your system.
5.05 Moving Beyond the Equity Plateau within Homeless Response Systems
Join the Housing Justice Collective for a robust discussion on truly integrating equity into your community. This session will provide insights on how systems can move past just knowing disparities exist and understanding the need for lived experience on boards. Presenters will share how to shift into transforming power and accountability to make impact. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small group conversations to unpack and make meaning within their own communities.
5.06 Lowering Barriers and Boosting Outcomes: Dispelling Myths About Low-Barrier Shelter
Low-Barrier Shelters play a key role in the homelessness system but are often met with reluctance, fearfulness, and assumptions by people experiencing homelessness. Removing the barriers that unsheltered homeless face daily, combined with community buy in, allows individuals the opportunity to seek stabilizing resources, ultimately increasing social determinants of health and improving the overall quality of life. This session will discuss both the importance of implementing low-barrier methods.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Closing Plenary with Lunch
Lunch will be served following the plenary presentations.
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. | Lunch