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Public Health nurses offer staff training, health education, and consultation to shelters, day centers, transitional housing programs, and other homeless-serving programs in King County. To request any of these services, contact Health Care for the Homeless Network at 206-263-8422.

Get assistance from Health Care for the Homeless Network staff:

Training topics for staff

  • Reducing the Risk of Communicable Diseases in Settings that Serve Homeless People: Learn about Hepatitis A, B, and C; lice & scabies control; bed bugs; cold & flu season; standard (universal) precautions; skin and wound infections; food borne illness prevention; tuberculosis treatment and prevention.

  • Stop Germs! video series: These 45 minute-total video series features tips and motivation from shelter staff, clients, and local health experts on communicable disease prevention in settings that serve homeless people. You may also call us at 206-263-8422 to obtain a DVD.

  • Creating a Health Conscious Culture at Your Homeless Program site

  • Recognizing and Responding to Health Emergencies (for non-health staff): Learn what to do if your client or co-worker has a diabetic emergency, signs and symptoms of stroke, heart attack, what to do about seizures, and more.
  • Provide consultations for new and existing homeless programs, including overnight shelters hosted at religious or community facilities

  • Assistance with writing health screening questions on shelter intake tools

  • Download posters and flyers
    Includes topics on flu shots, heat exhaustion, spider bites, tick-related diseases, and West Nile virus.

  • Download Recommended Shelter Health and Safety Best Practice Guidelines and Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Guidelines for Homeless Service Agencies.

  • Assistance with writing policies and procedures (TB policies, blood borne pathogens/needle stick injury/sharps, staff health policies, etc.)

  • Environmental assessments- we can give you tips and suggestions about how to make your environment safer and healthier for staff and guests/residents

  • TB and Homelessness Coalition: This group consists of staff and managers of shelters, drop-in centers, and other agencies that serve homeless people, government funders (City and County staff), and the TB Control Program. The TB and Homelessness Coalition meet 2 times a year to share information and ideas about the challenges and efforts being made to address tuberculosis in environments where homeless people congregate. For more information about the TB coalition, call 206-263-8422.

  • We can help you prepare for the flu season and with pandemic flu planning.

We offer tailored discussion groups for people experiencing homelessness. Topics include:

  • Health and hygiene
  • Men's health issues
  • Youth health issues
  • Women's health issues
  • Chronic diseases
  • Communicable diseases (and how to avoid them)
  • Preparing for cold and flu season
  • Health Tips for Avoiding Communicable Diseases While Living Homeless. This 17 minute video features practical tips and advice from people who are homeless, shelter staff, and health experts. This is meant to be used as a discussion starter; prepare to have a Q&A session after showing this video.

External web resources

Implementation and intervention frameworks

Adverse childhood experiences

  • ACEs Connection Network
    ACEs Connection is a social network that … [creates] a safe place and a trusted source where members share information, explore resources and access tools that help them work together to create resilient families, systems and communities.

  • ACES Too High
    A news site that reports on research about adverse childhood experiences, including developments in epidemiology, neurobiology, and the biomedical and epigenetic consequences of toxic stress.

  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
    SAMHSA has a link to multiple programs that outline TIC and trauma specific interventions. It provides SAMHSA’s six key principles of a trauma-informed approach, and then proceeds to detail the following trauma-specific interventions.

  • Addiction and Trauma Recovery Integration Model (ATRIUM)
    A 12-session recovery model designed for groups as well as for individuals and their therapists and counselors.

  • Essence of Being Real
    The Essence of Being Real model is a peer-to-peer approach that is particularly useful for survivor groups, first responders, and frontline service providers and agency staff.

  • Risking Connection
    Risking Connection is a model aimed at mental health, public health, and substance abuse staff at various levels of education and training.

  • Sanctuary Model
    The Sanctuary Model is intended for use by programs aimed at assisting children who have experienced the damaging effects of violence, abuse, and trauma.

  • Seeking Safety
    Seeking Safety is designed to be a therapy for trauma, PTSD, and substance abuse. The model can be used in a variety of settings, such as outpatient, impatient, and residential.

  • Trauma, Addiction, Mental Health, and Recovery (TAMAR)
    A structured 10-week intervention combining psycho-educational approaches with expressive therapies. Groups are run inside detention centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and in the community.

  • Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET)
    An educational and therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of complex PTSD.

  • Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM and M-TREM)
    A model intended for trauma survivors, particularly those with exposure to physical or sexual violence. This model is gender-specific: TREM for women and M-TREM for men.

Books

  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma | Bessel van der Kolk
    In The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neuro feedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies.

  • In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction | Gabor Maté
    Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically re envisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects.

  • Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs | Johann Hari
    It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is.

  • Using Trauma Theory to Design Service Systems | Maxine Harris and Roger Fallot This volume presents the essential elements necessary for any system to begin to integrate an understanding about trauma into its core service programs.

Articles

Trainings

National Health Care for the Homeless Council Training on TIC

  • Part One
    Provides an overview of the fundamental differences between a traditional approach and TIC. Also details a variety of symptoms and responses to trauma, and provides two exercises based on hypothetical scenarios.

  • Part Two
    Identifies key principles of TIC and details how to apply those principles within systems of care.
  • National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)
    The CLAS standards are primarily directed at health care organizations; however, individual providers are also encouraged to use the standards to make their practices more culturally and linguistically accessible. The principles and activities of culturally and linguistically appropriate services should be integrated throughout an organization and undertaken in partnership with the communities being served.

  • A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care
    Also from the Office of Minority Heath, the cultural competency curricula offers information about a variety of cultural, language services and organizational issues using a variety of engaging case studies and real feedback from providers in health care settings. This program equips physicians with awareness, knowledge, and skills to better treat the increasingly diverse U.S. population they serve and earn CME, CNE and CEU credit.

  • Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services in Healthcare Organizations
    The guide is intended to help healthcare organizations implement effective language access services to meet the needs of their limited-English-proficient patients, and increase their access to health care

  • Culture Clues
    Tip sheets for clinicians, designed to increase awareness about concepts and preferences of patients from the diverse cultures served by University of Washington Medical Center.
  • Street Medicine
    Delivering health care on the streets of Santa Barbara, CA