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  • Writer's pictureQuisha Umemba

Enhancing Support for Clients Experiencing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity

Last week, Umemba Health launched a new workshop titled “Compassionate Care for Unhoused Populations". We had the privilege of presenting this half-day workshop to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-Community Health and Research department, equipping Community Health Workers (CHWs) with essential knowledge and skills to better support clients experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

The primary goals of this workshop were to:


  • Enhance the support provided to clients experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

  • Increase CHWs' self-efficacy in working with vulnerable populations.

  • Empower community health champions to make a tangible impact in their communities.


Workshop Overview

Workshop participants learned to identify the root causes of homelessness and housing insecurity, understand their profound impact on individuals, and explore various prevention efforts and interventions to address homelessness and promote housing stability. CHWs were trained to identify common mental health issues in unhoused populations, including substance abuse disorders and they learned to recognize potential triggers and crises in unhoused individuals and apply principles of mental health first aid, harm reduction approaches, and trauma-informed care. The workshop also emphasized understanding and appropriately using care management strategies when working with unhoused populations.


Workshop Activities

To ensure an interactive and practical learning experience, we incorporated several activities to help participants achieve the stated learning objectives:

  • Brainstorming of housing solutions that engaged attendees in brainstorming sessions that helped them develop innovative housing solutions.

  • Paired role-playing so attendees could utilize the Mental Health First Aid 5-step action plan (ALGEE), and learn to assess for risk of suicide or harm effectively.

  • Empathy Mapping techniques that allow CHWs to improve case management for unhoused populations and foster a deeper understanding of their clients' experiences and needs.


Workshop Participant Feedback

The feedback from our attendees highlights the positive impact and effectiveness of the workshop:


  • "It was a great training!"

  • "I love all the activities! I am a hands-on learner."

  • "I learned that I need to implement the [empathy] mapping for case management more often with my clients. Thoroughly enjoyed this presentation. Thanks!" 


Conclusion

The launch of this workshop marks another significant step towards empowering CHWs to provide compassionate, effective care to some of our most vulnerable community members. By equipping these health champions with the right tools and knowledge, we aim to make a lasting impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

If you're interested in learning more about this workshop or how we can support your organization with our customized training solutions, visit our website and schedule your free discovery session today. Stay tuned for more updates on our initiatives and training programs designed to elevate the public health workforce. 




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About Umemba Health

Our mission is to transform public health through comprehensive workforce development. We are developing the next generation of public health leaders, one professional at a time! Find out how we can educate your workforce, empower your leaders, and expand your community presence by visiting www.umembahealth.com.


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