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The best cure for homelessness is to prevent it. Saffron Strand’s 8th Annual Homeless Workforce Conference, June 12-13 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, focuses on “Working Upstream: What Can We Do to Prevent Homelessness?”

The 2017 Conference brings leading authors, researchers, and professionals together to educate, train, and support those who work with vulnerable populations “upstream,” helping to prevent people from becoming homeless.

For this demanding job, it’s vital to keep front line social service, healthcare, and employment services workers healthy and effective. Four nationally acclaimed authors bring this year’s Conference wide-ranging experience, insight, and creative solutions.

Ross Rosenberg, an international authority on Codependency, Self-Love Deficit Disorder, and Self-Love Recovery, offers workshop training developed exclusively for Conference participants. Rosenberg is the bestselling author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. He also is the founder of Clinical Care Consultants, a Chicago-area counseling center, and the Self Love Recovery Institute, a training/seminar and professional certification firm. Mr. Rosenberg’s practice specializes in narcissism, codependency, trauma, and sex addiction. His YouTube channel has garnered more than 5.5 million views and 51,000 subscribers (https://www.youtube.com/RossRosenberg).

Steve Early, based in Richmond, presents “Progressive Cities: Forging A Different Path for People In Need.” Early has worked as a labor journalist, lawyer, organizer, or union representative since 1972. His writing about labor relations and workplace issues has appeared in The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Nation, The Progressive, Washington Monthly, and many other publications. His fourth book, published by Beacon Press in January, is about Richmond — Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of An American City (http://www.beacon.org/Refinery-Town-P1229.aspx).

Steven Kessler, MFT is founder and psychotherapist at the EFT Therapy Center in Albany whose Conference workshop is “Intro to EFT / Tapping.” Teaching the Emotional Freedom Technique in a warm, friendly group setting, Kessler notes that EFT is the best tool for clearing trauma out of the body: “You can see its effectiveness first-hand, experience it yourself, and learn a few basic techniques to use on yourself and with the homeless people you serve.” Kessler is the author of The 5 Personality Patterns (https://the5personalitypatterns.com/).

Paul Schroeder, MDiv presents “Preventing Homelessness: Practice Makes PURPOSE” at the Conference. His most recent book, Practice Makes PURPOSE: Six Spiritual Practices that Will Change Your Life and Transform Your Community (https://www.amazon.com/C.-Paul-Schroeder/e/B01HN5O7GC), draws on his 20 years of experience working at the intersection of spirituality and social change. He is the founder of New City Initiative (www.newcityinitiative.net), a nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to helping people who experience homelessness achieve their full human potential, as well as the New City Kitchen (www.newcitykitchen.com), which offers job training and placement in the food service industry “for people seeking a second chance in the workforce.” Today Schroeder serves as CEO of HOURCAR, a non-profit car-sharing company with an environmental and equity mission based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

Housing and employment are essential elements in both preventing homelessness as well as empowering the homeless and those at risk to rebuild their lives and become productive members of their communities. This year’s Conference presents:

Experts on California’s new housing legislation — SB 1069 (Accessory Dwelling Units) and AB 2406 (Junior Accessory Dwelling Units) — which makes it much easier for individual homeowners and those in need of housing to help each other

Leading homelessness researchers Robin Petering (USC), Amanda Yoshioka-Maxwell (USC), Dr. Don Schweitzer (Pacific University)

Youth track with experts at helping at-risk youth, including Martin Rafferty, formerly homeless, now one of Oregon’s most innovative youth development leaders

Interactive workshops both days to support front line workers and improve social service, health care, and employment services for vulnerable populations

Exhibits of service providers and innovative solutions, including the “Home It” — a prefabricated, secure, and sound-proof housing structure for installation outdoors or indoors (8×10-foot unit on display)

Saffron Strand’s 2017 Conference has the formal endorsement of the Richmond City Council, which recognizes the critical need to stem the rising tide of homelessness. Richmond City Council Members Gayle McLaughlin and Jael Myrick are Conference Co-Chairs.

Conference details: https://www.saffronstrand.org/2017-homeless-workforce-conference/.

Registration: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1677060

Scholarship availability and other info: yvonne@saffronstrand.org

Founded in 2009, Saffron Strand, Inc. is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based, membership organization whose mission is to get homeless people and those at risk of homelessness off the streets and back to work. Those who join Saffron Strand become members of an intentional community dedicated to getting all members back to work. Members help run the organization, including our national annual Homeless Workforce Conferences that provide specialized employment services training for professionals and others who help vulnerable populations.

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