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“Work as a Priority” Principles and Practices for Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities who are Homeless Gary Shaheen Advocates for Human Potential,

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Presentation on theme: "“Work as a Priority” Principles and Practices for Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities who are Homeless Gary Shaheen Advocates for Human Potential,"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Work as a Priority” Principles and Practices for Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities who are Homeless Gary Shaheen Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. 262 Delaware Ave. Delmar, NY , ext. 243

2 “WORK AS A PRIORITY” ftp://ftp.health.org/pub/ke n/pdf/SMA /workpriority.PDF ftp://ftp.health.org/pub/ke n/pdf/SMA /workpriority.PDF

3 If One-Stops Works For All…. Including People with Disabilities who are Homeless …. Need to understand the complex impacts of homelessness Recognize our limitations Provide or arrange cross-training Develop partnerships & collaborations Ensure easy, ongoing access to TA/support Break down the barriers of distrust-individual, program, systems Explore flexible approaches and arrangements

4 The “Readiness to Work Challenge” Redefine what we mean by “job ready” Redefine what we mean by “work” Meet people “where they are” Recognize skills and strengths derived through survival Allow flexible measures of success on a “slow entry ramp”

5 Homelessness and Choosing, Getting and Keeping a Job Distrust is common Focus on immediate needs Co-occurring disabilities Learned helplessness Functional limitations Cognitive limitations Illiteracy Communication deficits Physical/emotional trauma Poor self-esteem Fragmented or inadequate services/supports Mobility Skills mismatch Legal issues: custody convictions, judgements, probation Lack of personal documentation Child care Transportation Earning disincentives Lack of permanent address and phone # Lack of hope

6 “If you have had any of the major mental illness…” © Mimi Kravitz 1997 You have strength You can cope You have patience You possess spirituality and hope You have courage You have humility You have imagination

7 “If you have been hospitalized, you…” © Mimi Kravitz 1997 You have survival ability You can tolerate pain You can deal with the unknown You have interpersonal skills

8 “If you have survived hearings for SSI, Food Stamps, etc…” © Mimi Kravitz 1997 You have anxiety tolerance You can organize documentation You can negotiate systems You can persevere

9 “If you have taken medication..” © Mimi Kravitz 1997 You can handle risk You can adapt to adverse conditions You can compensate for induced physical disability You might have gained some knowledge of introductory chemistry

10 No Wrong Door to Employment” MOTIVATION AND AWARENESS (At Engagement, Drop-In Center, Shelter, etc). Skills, Interests Assessment SUPPORTED OPTIONS In-house jobs Social enterprises Day labor Volunteer work Goal, resource, skill, support development FAST TRACK OPTIONS Competitive Job Search Competitive Job Placement Link to VR, One-Stops Job Support Training and education ONGOING CONTACT WITH JOB SPECIALIST RETENTION, CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT & ADVANCEMENT SERVICES © Advocates for Human Potential 2003

11 Some Strategies…for Providers Use in-house resources for low- impact jobs “on demand” Use work to build work readiness Provide wrap-around services supporting work Interagency coordination Intra-agency coordination Cross-training Blended funding Involve homeless services providers in local WIB planning Involve food pantries, shelters, etc. as employment services partners

12 Some Strategies…for DPNs Help break down stereotypes Involve diverse stakeholders- faith based, economic development, public housing, businesses/associations Build familiarity with One Stop services among providers Build familiarity with providers among One-Stop staff Reinforce recovery, hope and inclusion

13 Keys to Success Belief Motivation Skills Resources Support Resilience Creativity =EQUALS:

14 …The same characteristics we see in many of the people we are trying to serve. Good Luck! © Advocates for Human Potential 2003


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