- Randall Reitz, PhD, Director of Behavioral Medicine, St. Mary's Family Medicine Residency, Grand Junction, CO
- Lucy Graham, PhD, MPH, RN, Director, Department of Health Sciences Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO
- Beverly Lampley, MSW, Director of Development and Communication, Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, Grand Junction, CO
- Ona Ridgway DNP, FNP, APRN, Lead, Pathways Clinic, Grand Junction, CO
Community programs and healthcare systems are often at-odds with the people who lack housing among us. The systems frequently approach homeless people as vagrants who clog up our services, sap our bottom lines, and require resources that we are poorly equipped to provide. From the perspective of people living without housing, the systems of care can put up unnecessary barriers, offer services that don’t reflect their realities, and retraumatize people who are already on the margins of society. An American system that is based on for-profit motives is ill-equipped to provide levels of care that are necessary to meet homeless people where they are. Similarly, an American training system that focuses on clinics and hospitals will never produce a work-force with the skills and passion required for providing services across the levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. During this session we will grapple with these issues by sharing stories from Grand Junction, Colorado, a community with a highly integrated network of clinics, non-profits, and training institutions with a long history of success in partnering with the local unhoused population. The first half of our seminar will consist of 5 Pecha Kucha presentations. This highly evocative format focuses on storytelling as a medium for causing discomfort, sharing ideas, and promoting growth. The topics of the Pecha Kuchas will include 1) barriers to providing care to the unhoused population, 2) partnerships between clinics and non-profits, 3) training the professional and lay work-force for serving the homeless, and 4) leadership through local government and elected officials. We will then use small group activities to reflect on the stories, extract important lessons, and support each other in providing services and training the next generation of teams serving the homeless population.
- To identify barriers to providing whole-person, community-oriented care to the unhoused population.
- To map-out community integration for meeting the needs of people living with homelessness across Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
- To align educational systems so that the next generation of the clinical and non-profit work-force train side-by-side and with a unified vision.