Workshop Descriptions

The 2022 Annual New York State Conference included a morning keynote from Lori Yearwood and 23 workshops covering topics in policy, social services and development. Please see below for the audiorecordings of the sessions and presentations.



Meet the Adams Administration

Learn more about the new officials in the Adams Administration who will be leading the effort to address the homelessness and affordable housing crises. Panelists will discuss broad vision as well as concrete policies related to development and social services.

Adolfo Carrión Jr., he/him/his, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
Gary P. Jenkins, he/him/his, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Social Services
Jessica Katz, she/her/hers, Chief Housing Officer, NYC Office of the Chief Housing Officer
Ashwin Vasan, he/him/his, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

Moderator: Beatriz (Bea) de la Torre, she/her/ella, Managing Director, Trinity Church Wall Street


Open Hearts/Open Minds

The Open Hearts Initiative (OHI) and its support of the men at the Lucerne Hotel during COVID showed how communities and homeless New Yorkers can come together to counter NIMBYism and work to end homelessness. Corinne Low will present on the Initiative’s origin story, Shams DaBaron, a.k.a Da Homeless Hero, will present on the integral part the residents of the Lucerne played in the organization’s focus and work, and Sara Newman will talk about the recently inaugurated OHI extension, which is helping communities welcome the future residents of supportive housing and shelters into neighborhoods.

Shams DaBaron, a.k.a. Da Homeless Hero, Independent Activist
Corinne Low, she/her/hers, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Open Hearts Initiative
Sara Newman, she/her/hers, Director of Organizing, Open Hearts Initiative

Moderator: Gale A. Brewer, she/her/hers, New York City Council Member, District 6


Harm Reduction = Tenant Engagement

Community Access has a long-standing safer use supply distribution program that improves participants’ well-being and truly meets individuals where they are at. Center for Urban Community Services has created harm reduction strategies for staff working with people experiencing homelessness in a range of situations. Come learn. View Presentation PDF.

Emily Gerteis, she/her/hers, Director of Primary Care, Janian Medical Care
Duysal Karakus, she/her/hers, Senior Practice and Implementation Specialist, Community Access

Moderator: Eric Senzon, he/him/his, Director of Client Services, Bailey House/Housing Works


In the Spotlight: Innovative Projects from ESSHI & NYC 15/15

Take a deep dive into five unique supportive housing projects that opened in the last five years.  Learn about their development journey and innovative features, with a retrospective lens on what ESSHI and NYC 15/15 have helped create. View Presentation PDF. 

Paul Freitag, he/him/his, Executive Director, West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing
Mark Fuller, President, DePaul
Andrew Germansky, he/him/his, Senior Vice President, Real Estate, Westhab
Michael G. Johnson, he/him/his, Director of Community Life - NY/NJ, The Community Builders
Beverly Raudales, she/her/hers, Chief Program Officer, Comunilife
Shali Sharma, she/her/hers, Department Director, BronxWorks

Moderator: Emily Chen, she/her/hers, Regional Manager/Vice President, National Equity Fund


Correcting Crisis Intervention

Mental health crises require a non-police health response. Join Council Member Erik Bottcher in conversation with advocates to discuss efforts and visions to transform New York City’s crisis response in order to reduce violence and trauma by those who turn to emergency services for assistance.

Ruth Lowenkron, she/her/hers, Director, Disability Justice Program, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Christina Sparrock, she/her/hers, Mental Health Advocate/Creator of the Person-Centered Intervention Training

Moderator: Erik Bottcher, he/him/his, New York City Council Member, District 3


Building Forward: A National Strategy to End Homelessness

Experts on homelessness and housing affordability will talk about the federal policies and plans needed to build a housed future and end the crisis of homelessness.

Alicka Ampry-Samuel, she/her/hers, Regional Administrator, US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Jeff Olivet, he/him/his, Executive Director, US Interagency Council on Homelessness
Diane Yentel, she/her/hers, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition

Moderator: Lorraine Collins, she/her/hers, Senior Director of Public Policy and External Affairs, Enterprise Community Partners


Addressing Hoarding & Clutter: It’s Possible

Supportive housing tenants sometimes struggle to sustain healthy living environments due to hoarding and clutter; and staff can find addressing these issues frustrating, if not hopeless.  The Jewish Board’s Safe and Secure Home program combines clinical and practical hands-on approaches that successfully help tenants address hoarding and clutter in their spaces. Come learn about the program and take away strategies for replicating the model in your organization. View Presentation PDF.

Alexandra Avena, Social Worker, Jewish Board
Norma Cummings, she/her/hers, Home Based Specialist, Jewish Board
Luc Fondrie-Teitler, he/him/his, Residential Safety Coordinator, Jewish Board
Steven Hornsby, he/him/his, Program Director, Jewish Board

Moderator: Helene Lauffer, she/her/hers, Chief Operating Officer, Jewish Board


Helping Families Heal from Domestic Violence

New Destiny’s Family Support Program (FSP) is a trauma-informed, service-enriched approach that addresses the unique needs of individuals and families that have experienced domestic violence and housing instability. Learn about this program from four perspectives: director, case manager, tenant, and the researcher who evaluated the program.

Thaiasia Johnson, she/her/hers, Case Manager, New Destiny Housing
Isa Martinez-McDonald, she/her/hers, Regional Director – Bronx, New Destiny Housing
Kristie A. Thomas, she/her/hers, Director and Associate Professor, Simmons University School of Social Work
Timara Williams, she/her/hers, Tenant, New Destiny Housing

Moderator: John Kimble, he/him/his, Senior Advisor, NYC Fund to End Youth & Family Homelessness



New York State’s Response to Homelessness

Come hear from the New York State decision-makers responsible for shaping policy and strategic initiatives aimed at addressing the ever-challenging homelessness and housing crises across the state.  Panelists will discuss their short and long-term strategies impacting the entire housing and homelessness continuum. 

Chinazo Cunningham, Commissioner, NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports
Ann Marie T. Sullivan, she/her/hers, Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health
Daniel W. Tietz, he/him/his, Commissioner, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
RuthAnne Visnauskas, she/her/hers, Commissioner/CEO, NYS Homes and Community Renewal

Moderator: Liz Benjamin, she/her/hers, Managing Director - Albany, Marathon Strategies


Community Overdose Prevention & Response Strategies

DOHMH has created this specialized training for supportive housing staff including a full range of overdose response options, as well as specified roles and responsibilities for client-facing staff. Presenters will also share information on relevant treatment options and resources for clients, staff, and community members. View Presentation PDF.

Kimberly Howard, she/her/hers, Engagement Specialist, Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Unit (OENDU), Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care and Treatment; NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
Jamielee Polanco, she/her/hers, Technical Assistance Specialist, Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Unit (OENDU), Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care and Treatment; NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

Introducer: Alyssa Sanchez, she/her/hers, Assistant Vice President for Transitional Housing, Samaritan Daytop Village               


Parenting Journey: A Foundational Approach to Working with Families

An evidence-based model, Parenting Journey’s premise is that parenting is always hard and exponentially more so in the context of racism, poverty and trauma…not to mention the lasting impacts of the pandemic. In this experiential workshop, Parenting Journey staff will offer an overview of their approach to nurturing parents, families and communities as well as practical take-aways. View Presentation PDF.

Kathryn Wilson, she/her/hers, Program Director, Parenting Journey
Gabrielle Witte, she/her/hers, Assistant Program Director, Parenting Journey

Introducer: Symone Johnson, she/her/hers, Program Coordinator, Young Adult Family Program, Bailey House/Housing Works


Dismantling Racism in Housing & Homelessness Policy

Addressing systemic racism and root causes of poverty and homelessness requires imaginative thinking. Join experts in the housing and homelessness sector for a dialogue about how our current practices could be perpetuating inequities and how we can begin dismantling them.

Regina Cannon, she/her/hers, Chief Equity and Impact Officer and Vice President of Housing Solutions, C4 Innovations, Racing Home
Diane Louard-Michel, Executive Director, Lantern Community Services


A Better End: Supporting Our Communities Around Death & Dying

Bearing witness to dying, holding conversations about preparing for death, and coping with individuals’ passing can be challenging. This presentation will share learnings from Community Access’ Death & Dying workgroup, including advanced planning training/support, legacy/memorial planning, grief and bereavement support, systems navigation related to hospice/palliative care, and after-death grief/loss and logistics support. View Presentation PDF.

Duysal Karakus, she/her/hers, Senior Practice and Implementation Specialist, Community Access 
Edekira Liberato, she/her/hers, Supported Education Specialist, Community Access
Cinthia Vega Gabriele, she/her/hers, Service Coordinator, Community Access


Why Nonprofit Ownership?

This panel will discuss the importance – and history – of nonprofit ownership of affordable and supportive housing, weaving in information about the threat to nonprofits’ Right of First Refusal and how nonprofits can protect themselves in joint ventures.

David Downs, he/him/his, Vice President, Catholic Charities POP Development
Scott Short, he/him/his, CEO, RiseBoro Community Partnership
Barika Williams, she/her/hers, Executive Director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development

Moderator: Dana Greenberg, she/her/hers, Assistant Director, Bureau of Housing and Support Service, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, President, Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation


Beyond Land Acknowledgements

Have you ever wondered about the history of the land that you are on?  Do you understand the impacts of colonialism on the land and Native Nations?  Do you want to do more than just acknowledge the land?  This workshop gives you a history of Federal Indian policy that led to land loss and provides steps on how to create a land acknowledgement that does more than just putting words on paper. View Presentation PDF.

Heather Bruegl, she/her/hers, Historian/Consultant

Introducer: Lauren Jefferson, she/her/hers, Finance and Administrative Associate, Supportive Housing Network of New York


Going Green: Sustainable Design for the Future

What is happening in today’s world of sustainability?  Learn about the variety of ways to tackle broader sustainability efforts in affordable/supportive housing, with a focus on energy equity strategies, financing, advocacy, tech and design.  Leave inspired and with an arsenal of actionable items! 

Amie Gross, she/her/hers, President, Amie Gross Architects
Sonal Jessel, she/her/hers, Director of Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Bomee Jung, she/her/hers, Co-CEO, Cadence OneFive
Jessica Luk-Li, she/her/hers, Founder & Principal, Climate Impact Advisors

Moderator: Daphany Rose Sanchez, she/her/ella, Executive Director, Kinetic Communities



Mindfulness Session: Inner and Outer Methods for Wellbeing

Three Jewels understands that what unites us is the importance of joy, relatability and humor in the healing power of wellness techniques. The session will include guided breath-work, chair yoga and meditation as well as a discussion on incorporating these practices into daily life. Participants will leave feeling revitalized and motivated.

Ali Green, she/her/hers, Outreach Teacher, Three Jewels

Introducers: Paul Feuerstein, he/him/his, President/CEO, Barrier Free Living & Cynthia Amodeo, she/her/hers, Chief Program Officer, Barrier Free Living


New York State of Mind: NYC 15/15 and ESSHI

Come hear from New York State and City government partners who manage the NYC 15/15 and ESSHI programs every day. The panel will provide overviews of the programs to date and information about what’s coming up. Both capital and services and operating components of the initiatives will be covered and there will be an ample Q&A period. View Presentation PDF. 

Julie Behrens, she/her/hers, Vice President Multifamily Finance, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Patricia Dawson, she/her/hers, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Office of Supportive/Affordable Housing & Services, NYC Human Resources Administration 
Brett Hebner, he/him/his, Vice President Multifamily Finance, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Ross Karp, he/him/his, Director, Supportive Housing Loan Program, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
Rick Umholtz, he/him/his, Director, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Gail Wolsk, Senior Director, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

Moderator: Amy Larovere, she/her/hers, President, ALCD Consulting and Development


Aging (and Thriving) in Place

How can providers address tenants’ age-related challenges so as to keep them safely housed? The Bridge has evolved and improved the intervention they presented at our conference four years ago; Breaking Ground developed their own approach inspired by that presentation. Center for Urban Community Services’ Janian Medical Services is developing and evaluating a suite of geriatric services specifically for supportive housing tenants. Come learn and maybe be inspired to create your own program!

John Betts, he/him/his, Assistant Vice President, Program Development & Innovation, Breaking Ground
Rebecca Heller, she/her/hers, Assistant Vice President of Aging and Clinical Services, The Bridge
Van Yu, he/him/his, Chief Medical Officer, Center for Urban Community Services

Moderator: Tracy Perrizo, she/her/hers, Program Officer, New York City Program, Helmsley Charitable Trust


Supporting Supportive Staff

Supportive housing staff are overworked and underpaid and as the community fights for #JustPay, agencies are finding creative ways to provide support to their staff amidst COVID-19 and beyond. This panel will feature organizations sharing different ways they’ve found at the macro and micro level to provide support to their staff. Join this workshop to both listen and share what your own agencies are doing.   View Presentation from Lutheran Social Services of New York. View Presentation from HeartShare/St. Vincent's Services. View presentation from Concern Housing. 

Rachel Bleecker, she/her/hers, Executive Director for Residential Services, Lutheran Social Services of New York
Ralph Fasano, he/him/his, Executive Director, Concern Housing
Nancy Hernandez, she/her/hers, Program Director, Journey Family, HeartShare/St. Vincent’s Services
Sara Negron, she/her/hers, Senior Director of Programs, Project Renewal

Moderator: Starletta Smith, she/her/hers, Executive Director, YWCA of the Greater Capital Region


Coordinated Entry Across the State

Through the Continuum of Care, HUD has incentivized local communities to make the best use of limited resources by targeting supportive housing to the most vulnerable.  This panel brings together experts with hands-on experience in building and implementing coordinated entry in New York City, suburban Westchester and upstate New York.

Denise Brodt, she/her/hers, Director of Client Services, CARES of NY
Allison McSpedon, she/her/hers, System Manager, Westchester Continuum of Care Partnership to End Homelessness
Craig Retchless, he/him/his, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, NYC Human Resources Administration          

Moderator: Abby Miller, she/they/her/them, Associate, Housing Innovations


Bridging the Housing Gap for People Involved in the Criminal Legal System

The offer of short-term housing with specialized services has proven to greatly improve life outcomes for both people leaving incarceration as well as those awaiting trial.  Join this panel of experts who have created transitional housing programs serving individuals involved in the criminal legal system to learn more. View Presentation PDF.

Kandra Clark, she/her/hers, Vice President of Policy & Strategy, Exodus Transitional Community
Kristen Edwards, she/her/hers, Vice President of Justice Initiatives, HousingPlus/SHERO
JoAnne Page, she/her/hers, President & CEO, Fortune Society

Moderator: Patricia Hernandez, she/her/ella, Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing



Restorative Justice 101

Join restorative justice practitioners Anooj Bhandari and Vivianne Guevara in understanding the fundamentals and ideologies around restorative justice and restorative practices. During this workshop, participants will explore definitions of restorative justice, explore contexts of implementation in community, criminal legal, and educational settings, and dialogue with one another on how it can connect to supportive housing. 

Anooj Bhandari, he/they, Senior Coordinator of Training and Youth Programming, Restorative Justice Initiative
Vivianne Guevara, she/her/hers, Director of Social Work, Federal Defenders of New York