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19th Annual Supportive Housing Conference Draws Record Numbers for Learning and Networking


Over 1,800 people registered for an enormously successful day featuring Jason Reynolds and 23 workshops in topics spanning the supportive housing world.

The 2019 Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference was an enormous success with over 1,800 registrants, 23 workshops in policy, finance, and social services, and an inspiring opening keynote.

The morning opened with Brenda Rosen, Chair of the Network’s Board of Directors and CEO of Breaking Ground, saying “We all have the same purpose: to find solutions and to reaffirm our commitment to supportive housing… We’re not fragile; we are fierce. And that’s precisely why we’re all here today.”

Laura Mascuch, the Network’s Executive Director, said, “In the midst of an unprecedented commitment to build supportive housing I am inspired by our development and social service community that continues to challenge the odds and create beautiful, dignified, and welcoming housing for those who far too often had no place to call home.”

The Network was honored to have Jason Reynolds, author and poet of 13 books for young adults, as keynote speaker. Jason kicked off with candor and spoke about three things necessary to both his and the audience’s work: “Humility, intimacy, gratitude: What if these are the three elements that literally form relationship between human beings? What if these are the three things that could govern our lives in general?”

After Jason’s keynote, the morning featured eight simultaneous workshops that covered a vast array of topics including housing finance with state and city development experts; how to build racial, gender, and class diversity in the workplace; the LA County-based Everyone In public awareness campaign to build more supportive housing; joint ventures in supportive housing development; community policing and supportive housing; best practices for nurturing formally homeless families, and supporting staff dealing with vicarious trauma.

A networking luncheon allowed attendees to refresh themselves before diving in for the afternoon workshops.

A packed afternoon series of workshops covered additional topics: the state and city’s response to homelessness; an interactive training on mindfulness strategies; land use strategies; unique housing needs of justice involved tenants; using arts in supportive housing; strategies for healing from hoarding disorders; and an update on NYC 15/15 and ESSHI. The final series of sessions were filled with more social services-oriented workshops for attendees looking to increase their understanding of topics spanning harm reduction; survivors of domestic violence; organizational practices that better promoted free gender expression; how federal policies are impacting the state; supportive housing preservation; and lessons from building equity into homelessness programs in Washington State.

Thorobird sponsored the afternoon coffee break, and Lamb Insurance Services sponsored the reception that this year spread to an outdoor terrace on a gorgeous evening.

We are grateful to all those who volunteered, sponsored, presented, and joined us for our most successful conference to date! We applaud all of you in the supportive housing community who continue to overcome obstacles and work together to end homelessness. We hope to see you again next year.

For the full list of workshops, presentations, photos, and videos of the day, click here.

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