HRC Webcast Resources: Promoting a Healthy Work Environment in Homeless Services: What Works

This FREE SAMHSA HRC webcast, which aired on Thursday, January 27, 2011, discussed best practices for promoting healthy work environments for homeless service agencies.

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People working in homeless services, regardless of their position, face challenging working conditions and are at risk of burnout. How can agencies best support staff and promote a positive work environment? Presenters Ken Kraybill, B.J. Iacino, Ayala Livny, and Tye Deines shared lessons learned and offered strategies for promoting a healthy workplace. The presenters described the characteristics of a trauma-informed healthy work environment and addressed topics ranging from: identifying organizational core values, developing a “learning environment,” ensuring effective supervision, integrating consumers, practicing inclusive decision-making, and promoting self-care.

About the Presenters

Ken Kraybill

Ken is Director of Training at the Center for Social Innovation. Drawing on his work experience in homeless services since 1982, Ken Kraybill develops curricula and related resources, provides training, facilitates staff retreats, and consults on various projects. A vital part of his role is to help equip others to better serve vulnerable populations. Ken holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Goshen College and an M.S.W. from the University of Washington.

B. J. Iacino

B.J. is the Director of Education and Advocacy at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. She is responsible for communications, media relations, legislative affairs and public education programs. Throughout her career, B.J. has served as a consultant for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Governor’s Association (NGA), the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as well as other non-profit and philanthropic organizations. She has also held positions with Denver’s AMC Cancer Research Center, Heifer International, Emory University’s Department of International Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is a leader in the international breast cancer movement.

Ayala Livny

Ayala Livny is the Program Manager for Youth on Fire, a drop-in center for homeless youth ages 14-24 in Cambridge, MA and a program of AIDS Action Committee. She has been working on issues of homelessness, positive youth development, and HIV prevention since 1995 and has worked in schools, shelters, and other social services in Illinois, Michigan, Philadelphia and Boston. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where her work focused on the impact of poverty on human and child development. She began her work with homeless young adults as a case manager at YOF in 2004, and has been managing the program since 2006.

Tye Deines

Tye Deines is the Director of Human Resources at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Tye directs recruitment, retention, development and benefits programs for the Coalition’s workforce of 450. Prior to joining the Coalition, he managed HR at Good Shepherd Services, a leading youth and family service organization in New York City. Tye holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the HR Certification Institute. He earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Montana.

Publication Date: 
Rockville, MD, USA