Texas Homeless Network

education, resources, and advocacy

THN Virtual Events

THN's Upcoming Webinars

Intro to Harm Reduction for Housing Providers

April 18th, 1-3 pm CST

This interactive, 1.5-2-hour long training is designed to help housing providers and case managers serve people who use drugs (PWUD) in their work. Delivered by Gaby Libretti, a person with lived and work experience, this training will teach housing providers about:
      • Harm Reduction
      • Drug policy and housing access
      • Opioid overdose
      • Housing First principles
      • Implementation of harm reduction principles
This training is provided for free through the support of Texas Targeted Opioid Response, a public health initiative operated by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission through federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant award number – H79TI085747.

THN's Recorded Webinars

Two-Part Series: Authentic Collaboration

Want to strengthen your equity muscles? Join us for a two-part training series, where Rhie Azzam Morris, the Texas Balance of State Lived Experience Committee, and THN staff will discuss the “how” and “why” of authentically collaborating with persons with live experience of homelessness.

Advocacy 101: How to Engage your Elected Officials on Housing Solutions

Have you ever wanted to influence policy in your day-to-day work, but didn’t know where to get started? Join this workshop and learn how you can use advocacy to provide information to our elected officials and organize support for safe, decent, deeply affordable, and accessible housing. As the 118th Congress begins its work, now is a critical time as advocates to engage with your elected officials and hold them accountable for addressing America’s housing crisis. In this workshop, you will learn about NLIHC’s public policy priorities and how to utilize advocacy tools such as advocacy meetings (in-person and virtual), social and traditional media, letters, events, and so much more!

Getting Involved 101: the Texas Legislature

With Texas legislative sessions happening only once every two years, getting involved can make a big impact. THN wants you to feel informed and empowered to make a difference through state policy. Join us as we explore how to get and stay active during the current Texas legislative session.

Ensuring Equal Access for Our LGBTQ+ Neighbors

In this webinar, we will discuss HUD’s Equal Access ruling, which requires programs to provide services to a client regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We will explore the bare minimums and the best practices when applying this ruling to your daily joy and agency procedures. Additionally, we will explore training scenarios and example policies.

Understanding LGBTQ+ Identities

In this webinar, you will receive an overview of LGBTQ+ identities and the common barriers and considerations for LGBTQ+ neighbors. Whether you’re an ally or a member of the LGBTQ+ family, you’ll walk away with new information.

Creativity, Complexity, & Common Understanding: How Do We Address Affordable Housing?

What forms of community dialogue increase our common understanding of an issue carrying so many meanings, from shelter to wealth? This webinar identifies approaches to a critical issue. Presenters and participants will share methods for empowering diverse stakeholders, exploring prevailing assumptions, fact-finding for local conditions, sharing lived experiences, and finding momentum for long-haul changes in the housing system. We will demonstrate conversation methods grounded in arts and design, and exercise techniques for sustaining attention on an issue that won’t go away.

Resilience in Action: Building Authentic Youth-Adult Partnerships

This interactive webinar will provide strategies on how to engage authentically with youth and create a mutually respectful, safe environment to build youth-adult partnerships. Hear directly from youth and young adults as they share their lived experiences and learn how to provide support to meet the unique needs of a young person. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with their peers to apply what they’ve learned

Housing for Future Generations: How Community Land Trusts Create Permanent Housing Affordability

Through multi-system partnership, CitySquare created a unique housing opportunity for the most vulnerable, The Cottages. This cross-sector partnership brought together service providers, housing developers, behavioral health systems, hospital systems, government branches, and foundations. The 3-year evaluation will be discussed providing other communities with our learnings. Designing housing programs for the most vulnerable in our communities is vital, and we hope this session helps kick off ideas for communities across Texas.

Innovating Outreach: A New Relational Model for Case Management

Gaining the trust of people experiencing homelessness can be a challenge. Yet, research tells us it’s the relationship that creates change for our clients. Using the psychology of trust, learn how to leverage client-case manager relationships to connect people with resources they need. Resources discussed will focus on system diversion.

This webinar will address several critical components: 1) redefinition of diversion; 2) education on the use of creative problem-solving in diversion practices; 3) the unique psychology of trust within the homeless population and how it impacts the client-case manager alliance.

Austin Homelessness Advisory Council (AHAC) - Informing Policies, Practices, and Homelessness Services through Lived Experience Expertise​

AHAC facilitators and members will provide insights on forming and conducting impactful lived experience advisory groups. AHAC is a group of approximately 15 individuals with lived experience with homelessness in Austin, which was created in 2017 with support from
Austin’s Innovation Office and a Bloomberg Philanthropies Grant. Beginning in March 2019, Downtown Austin Community Court took over facilitation and administrative support of AHAC. AHAC meets biweekly to provide input to City departments, other governmental
entities, and service providers. Their work has continued safely during COVID utilizing surveys in lieu of in-person meetings. AHAC’s overall mission is primarily centered around ensuring that individuals experiencing homelessness have a voice in every process,
program, and practice impacting and serving individuals experiencing homelessness.

Houston's Encampment Response Strategy​

Many communities are struggling with how to address encampments. A fine balance must be reached between meeting the needs of encampment residents and answering to mounting pressure from constituents in the affected areas. This session will cover how Houston is engaging people in encampments and connecting them to shelter and housing interventions, while simultaneously closing the encampment. A review of the coordinated entry system’s vulnerability tool revision process will be covered as well as how to effectively prioritize encampment residents while still adhering to the CoC’s policies. Finally, you will learn how data and targeted outreach is tracked to prevent individuals from falling through the cracks.

Lobbying: It's Legal and Necessary

We work every day to try to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in our communities — by providing them housing and supportive services. But wouldn’t that work be a lot easier if Medicaid covered more of those services — and if we had Medicaid expansion in Texas? If we had more mental health funding? If it were easier to house vulnerable people with felony records? And if we had more affordable housing in urban areas? None of these policies will become reality unless we advocate — and yes, lobby! — for them. Join us to discuss why advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels is so important, review some examples and best practices, and learn how 501c3s can lobby legally.

Using Collective Power to Influence Congress

Advocacy is often an intimidating and confusing process for many of us, and THN is here to help make it a little bit easier. During this webinar, THN’s Michelle Kaiser will teach participants how to best advocate for people experiencing homelessness to Texas’ members of Congress. Over the past year and a half, Texas received billions of dollars of federal funding to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, making it even more pressing to empower Texans to advocate and educate Congress about where and how we want to see that money spent in our communities. Register now to learn how we can keep up the pressure and forge meaningful relationships with Congressional staff.

The Challenges of the Pandemic Year to Build Community Consensus: Bexar County/San Antonio Data and Equity-based Framework to Divert and Prevent Homelessness​

The South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless is the HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) lead agency for Bexar County/San Antonio. The past year’s hardship felt by millions across the nation was also resembled in our community. Thus, through a comprehensive framework, our coordinated entry (CE) system, provided a prevention, diversion, and housing/service referral process to assess and prioritize clients. The Texas Balance of State (BoS) CoC has also worked with internal and external partners to develop an assessment tool to assist with the influx of homelessness prevention funding.
In this session, we will provide an overview of the two intervention frameworks with a focus on integrated metrics and consensus-building. We will conclude with a discussion on disparities in system coordination and program development.

Ending Housing Insecurity and Homelessness - Federal Policy

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and National Alliance to End Homelessness’ Olivia Arena and Steve Berg speak about national strategies to increase resources and advocacy efforts in the Biden administration to reduce housing insecurity and homelessness across the country. They take time to focus on how these new campaigns, strategies, and recently passed legislation will impact the people of Texas.

Change Starts at Home: Creating a Local Homeless Coalition to Address Community Homelessness

Across Texas, the urge to act, organize, or advocate on behalf of and with people experiencing homelessness has grown, even in corners of the state where homelessness appears nonexistent. This webinar will discuss how to bring together folks looking to make a collective impact on community homelessness by forming a Local Homeless Coalition (LHC), or a group addressing homelessness in a designated geographic area, such as a city, county, or cluster of counties.

Homelessness and Domestic Violence: Laws, Regulations, and Resources to Support Survivors

With over 80% of families experiencing homelessness also being survivors of domestic violence, it is imperative that housing and homeless advocates have tools to support these vulnerable families. This workshop will equip participants to understand the state and federal laws, and regulations, that protect survivors of domestic violence in housing, including the role of Coordinated Entry in supporting housing access. As these laws and regulations confer certain responsibilities for providers of housing assistance and landlords, attendees will consider their roles as providers of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) covered housing assistance and be taken step by step through their responsibilities and the rights of survivors from the initial point of contact through termination of assistance or a lease. Presenters will also focus on the role of privacy and confidentiality and how to support collaborative relationships in support of survivor safety. As a bonus- since we’ll be in the midst of the 87th Texas Legislative Session- presenters will offer an overview of themes in the housing-related legislation filed thus far that impact survivors.

A Look at the 2021 TX Legislative Session: THN Priorities

This webinar covers navigating the 87th Texas Legislative Session through an eviction crisis, continued and exacerbated homelessness, and a continuing COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar, hosted on the same day that the 2021 legislature started at the Capitol, discusses where THN is focused this session and where you – our partners – can help sustain the homeless crisis response system and expand accessible, affordable housing opportunities.

Displacement, Again: Concurrent Fears of Eviction and Deportation Amidst the Pandemic

Watch the recording of THN’s hosting of a panel discussion on assisting immigrant families access rent relief through local programs during COVID, providing tenant advocacy and anti-eviction work, and exploring solutions for assisting unhoused immigrants in status/documentation-limbo in accessing housing. 

Homelessness During a Pandemic: Updates and a Look Forward for Service Providers

The COVID-19 outbreak has altered our society in many ways. For those experiencing homelessness and the agencies that work with them, these changes have been life-threatening, not to mention frustrating. The community has innovated quickly in many regards, but there are still many limitations on what can be done. This presentation will serve as both a premature retrospective on the course of the outbreak for the community experiencing homelessness, and a look forward to the winter and beyond. 

Coordinated Entry Racial Equity Analysis: Findings from a Multi-Community Study

Although designed to prioritize those with the greatest need, Coordinated Entry Systems may be perpetuating systemic racial inequities through the use of untested tools like the VI-SPADT. During this webinar, Regina Cannon and Nastacia’ Moore will discuss their research on racial bias in relation to this formerly untested tool and where we should go with it. 

Legislative Reforms to Protect Tenant Rights and Prevent Homelessness

With 1.7 million Texans facing eviction due to COVID-19, many are worried about the rights of tenants across our state. This panel with Texas Tenants’ Union, Texas Housers, and Inclusive Communities Project will review the current landscape of Texas laws for obtaining and maintaining housing. The webinar will review proposals to bring to the 2021 Texas Legislative Session, and discuss effective ways to engage policymakers.

Voting While Unhoused

Every eligible voter in Texas has the fundamental right to cast a ballot that is fairly and accurately counted. This includes Texans who are homeless or in a non-traditional living situation, or who have had interaction with the criminal (in)justice system. It is, unfortunately, a common misperception that such voters are not able to register to vote or cast a ballot. This panel will discuss things to know about the upcoming election, things to know about voting while unhoused, your voting rights while incarcerated, or after being incarcerated, and will end with a full briefing on current advocacy efforts to expand voting rights and actions you can take. 

Are you interested in presenting a topic for our webinar series?
Email samantha@thn.org today and let us know what you want to share.

Homelessness in Texas: Our Struggles, Our Successes, Our Future

2020 presented our country and state with unprecedented challenges, resilient successes, and shifts toward a better future. In response, THN hosted  “Homelessness in Texas: Our Struggles, Our Successes, Our Future” a livestream event on October 27th, 2020 featuring speakers from around the state and the country to examine the state of homelessness in Texas and the future ahead.

Watch the full livestream event on YouTube.

Interested in hearing from a specific speaker? Check out our YouTube playlist here.

Each month, THN will host a live webinar from partner agencies across the state. Don’t miss this free opportunity to learn about issues impacting people experiencing homelessness in Texas while networking with colleagues. Registration will be open each month for the next month’s webinar.

Thank you to all the amazing speakers who joined us

Beto O'Rourke smiling

Rep. Beto O’Rourke

Julie Oliver smiling in front of a yellow wall with green vines growing up it.

Julie Oliver

Human with glasses and suit

Rep. William Hurd

Greg Casar smiling in front of a blurred background of lush green grass and trees.

Greg Casar

    • Tegan DeBrock – Vice President, HOME Center
    • Vineta Byrd – Housing Director, SAFE-T Crisis Center
    • Rosten Callarman – WTHN Coalition Coordinator, United Way of Abilene
    • Camille Castillo – Program Director, the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless
    • Melissa Escamilla – Program Director, Endeavors
    • Kathy Lacy – Prevention and Diversion Coordinator, South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless 
    • Daisy Lopez – BIPP Program Coordinator, Friendship of Women Inc.
    • Dr. Jocabed Marquez – Ph.D. Educator, Researcher, Data Analyst
    • Kyle Moore – Homeless Outreach Team, Killeen Police Department
    • Mayor Ginger Nelson – Mayor, City of Amarillo
    • Emily Northup – Homeless Outreach Coordinator, City of Corpus Christi
    • Andrea Omojola – Chief Operating Officer, Open Door of Lubbock
    • Sister Norma Pimentel – Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
    • Nan Roman – President & CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness
    • Robert Salas – Neighborhood & Family Services Department, City of San Angelo
    • Eric Samuels – President & CEO, Texas Homeless Network
    • Jo Schaffer – Board Member, Texas Homeless Network
    • Erika Thomas – Executive Director, Odessa Links
    • Mayor Anthony Williams – Mayor 
    • Dr. David Woody – President and CEO at The Bridge – Homeless Recovery Center
    • Diane Yentel – President & CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition
    • Kristin Zakoor – Assistant Director of Data, Texas Homeless Network
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