Her Health, Her Housing: Improving Services for Women Experiencing Homelessness

Her Health, Her Housing

Schedule at-a-Glance

Click on any session below to register, or view full session descriptions below.

Wednesday, March 6

12 p.m. CT The Nexus of Sex Work and Homelessness

Thursday, March 7

12 p.m. CT An Attack on Women: The Intersection of Violence and Homelessness

Wednesday, March 13

12 p.m. CT Assessing the Needs of Women in Medical Respite

Thursday, March 14

12 p.m. CT Distinct Health Disparities of LGBQ Women Experiencing Homelessness

Wednesday, March 20

12 p.m. CT Minority Stress: Racism and Women’s Issues

Thursday, March 21

12 p.m. CT Forsake Me Not: How HCH Providers Can Deliver Better Care to Pregnant Women Experiencing Homelessness

Wednesday, March 27

12 p.m. CT Safety Planning with Women Experiencing Homelessness

Thursday, March 28

12 p.m. CT Trauma-Informed Cervical Cancer Screening in Women with Experience of Homelessness: Translating Principles Into Practice

Session Descriptions

The Nexus of Sex Work and Homelessness

Wednesday, March 6: 12 p.m. CT

The sex trade industry comprises a wide range of activities, in several different settings from street-level sex work, to escort services, to exotic dancing. Many of the folks involved in the sex trade industry are experiencing or have experienced some type of homelessness. This webinar seeks to look at ways that sex work and homelessness are connected, disproportionately by feminine identified folks (cisgender and of transgender experience). Explore how health care and homeless services are provided and can be enhanced, as well as hear ways in which recognizing the systems that compound risk can help facilitate reaching these communities.

Speakers: Aruna Krishnakumar, LCSW, Director of Health Outreach to Teens, Callen-Lorde; Jonathan Santos-Ramos, Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives, Callen-Lorde; Joanna Rivera, our Director of Transgender Housing, Ali Forney Center; Tracee Brown, our Coordinator of Training & Advocacy, Ali Forney Center


An Attack on Women: The Intersection of Violence and Homelessness

Thursday, March 7: 12 p.m. CT

In 2014 the National Health Care for the Homeless Council published a study exploring the relationship between homelessness and violence. Nearly half the study’s ~500 participants experienced violence while homeless, and findings revealed that although males and females experienced violence at virtually the same rate, female gender was a significant predictor of knowing one’s perpetrator, experiencing rape, and suffering consequences after the attack. Furthermore, it is widely known that women are more likely to be impacted by violence that leads to housing instability and homelessness. This webinar will provide resources to address the intersection of violence and homelessness for women. Presenters will share their experiences and ideas on how to get involved in this work. The aim is to further support women experiencing homelessness and the health centers that serve them.

Speakers: Amy Grassette, OB/Perinatal Scheduler, Community Health Link/Family Health Center of Worcester Worcester, MA; Amy Turk, Chief Innovation Officer, Downtown Women’s Center, Los Angeles, CA; Juli Hishida, Project Manager National Health Care for the Homeless Council Nashville, TN


Assessing the Needs of Women in Medical Respite

Wednesday, March 13: 12 p.m. CT

Medical respite is a safe and stable place for people experiencing homelessness to heal from illness or injury. This resource is vital as it provides the opportunity for a safe transition from a hospital stay for especially vulnerable individuals. As communities work to expand medical respite care, some are faced with the challenge of creating medical respite services for women when their community resources are designed for men experiencing homelessness. Please join us as Council staff and medical respite providers discuss medical respite care and the experience of women in their programs. In this webinar, speakers will share information about the development of their programs, the decision to expand access to medical respite services specifically for women, challenges faced, and the unique needs of their clients. This webinar is designed for anyone interested in learning more about medical respite care.

Speakers: Julia Dobbins, MSSW, Project Manager, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Nashville, TN; Jason Emmerson, MDiv, MPPA, Executive Director, United Caring Services, Evansville, IN; Carol Daniel, MSN, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO


Distinct Health Disparities of LGBQ Women Experiencing Homelessness

Thursday, March 14: 12 p.m. CT

Lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer (LGBQ) women experiencing homelessness present unique health challenges, ranging from reproductive health issues, lack of routine screenings, and high rates of mental illness and sexual violence, which are compounded by overall lack of access, visibility, and sensitivity in women’s and LGBTQ healthcare settings and homelessness services. This training will address health and mental health disparities of LGBQ women experiencing homelessness and contextualize these disparities within larger systems of oppression that create barriers to care. The presenters will also offer models of engagement and program delivery to create systems of prevention and treatment tailored to these communities.

Speakers: Aruna Krishnakumar, LCSW, Director of Health Outreach to Teens, Callen-Lorde; Rev. Julie Novas, JD, LCSW, Mental Health Coordinator, HOTT, Callen-Lorde; Phyllis Pickens, RN, Adherence Nursing/Health Education Coordinator, Callen-Lorde; Juliet Widoff, MD, Clinical Director, Women’s Health, Callen-Lorde; Lazara Paz-Gonzalez, MPH, Professor, Monmouth University


Minority Stress: Racism and Women’s Issues

Wednesday, March 20: 12 p.m. CT

We know that homelessness is harmful to one’s health and that women experiencing homelessness face unique challenges and different issues than men experiencing homelessness. We will explore the impact that racism has on women of color experiencing homelessness individually and through public policies that affect them.

Speakers: Monica R. McLemore, RN, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Family Health Care Nursing Department, Research Scientist, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), University of California, San Francisco, CA


Forsake Me Not: How HCH Providers Can Deliver Better Care to Pregnant Women Experiencing Homelessness

Thursday, March 21: 12 p.m. CT

The HCH model of care is often lauded for its patient-centered, trauma-informed approach to providing a wide range of health and support services to very vulnerable people experiencing homelessness. The HCH community rightly prides itself on a “whatever-it-takes” approach to engaging clients in care and stabilizing numerous complex conditions. Yet, when faced with a pregnant client, referring out to other community providers is a common approach—especially when serious addictions and mental health conditions are present. We must do better. This webinar will make the case for prioritizing care for pregnant, vulnerable women; share eye-opening data from recent client surveys; illustrate how provider bias can lead to trauma and poor health outcomes; and outline care models that any HCH program could implement for this population. The discussion will challenge you to view pregnancy as an opportunity to provide HCH care to vulnerable women and to improve outcomes for both mother and child.

Speakers: Deborah Borne, MSW, MD, Medical Director, Transitions Division, San Francisco Health Network, San Francisco Department of Public Health; Dana Lazarovitz Thompson, BCLC, Nurse Home Visitor, San Francisco Health Network, San Francisco Department of Public Health; Maternal, Child, Adolescent Health; Sharon Thrower, Outreach Specialist, San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team, San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing;

Moderator: Barbara DiPietro, PhD, Senior Director of Policy, NHCHC


Safety Planning with Women Experiencing Homelessness

Wednesday, March 27: 12 p.m. CT

Assist your clients in developing a concise, unique, practical plan to address the many dangers and challenges they face as women experiencing homelessness – for any reason. How, when, where, and why a safety plan is developed will largely inform its effectiveness, and a well-formed plan can serve as a source of encouragement and mutual trust for both clients and staff members. Discover more about the process of safety planning and how it can impact the well being of all those involved in your program.

Speakers: Cindy Manginelli, Project Coordinator for NHCHC


Trauma-Informed Cervical Cancer Screening in Women with Experience of Homelessness: Translating Principles Into Practice

Thursday, March 28: 12 p.m. CT

The incidence of cervical cancer in women experiencing homelessness is 4.4 times higher than the general population, and women who are unstably housed are 6 times more likely to die from cervical cancer than their counterparts in the general population. There are many structural and practice barriers that lend to these disparities. Poor access to care and the lack of providing trauma-informed care have been identified as barriers to women experiencing homelessness seeking preventive health services. This webinar presented by an interdisciplinary team from Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) discuss the need for health centers to take a “no barriers” approach to ensure patients receive standard care- even in atypical clinical settings. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from the team promising practices as they focus on how to appropriately perform trauma-informed Pap exams.

Speakers: Cassis Henry MD, Psychiatrist; Aura Obando MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics; Maggie Sullivan MS, RN, FNP-BC, Family Nurse Practitioner; Marilyn Werner, Women’s Health Initiative Care Coordinator