Webinar: Homelessness Among American Indians
Thursday, March 21 - from 2:00 to 3:30 PM
America’s indigenous peoples disproportionately experience many of the conditions that lead to and/or sustain homelessness, including deep poverty, high rates of domestic violence, and behavioral health disorders. This is partially due to the fact that for more than two centuries, American Indian people have had to deal with chronic cultural trauma derived from the residual effects of displacement, genocide, forced assimilation, culture/language suppression, oppression, and negative bias.
Although only 1.2 percent of the national population self-identifies as American Indian or Alaska Native (Census, 2011), 3.0 percent of all sheltered homeless persons , 2.3 percent of all sheltered homeless individuals [ii], and 4.3 percent of all sheltered homeless families self-identify as Native American or Alaska Natives [iii] (HUD, 2011). Despite this substantial overrepresentation of indigenous peoples among the population of those who are homeless, there is a significant knowledge gap on their needs and challenges as they struggle with homelessness in urban, rural, and reservation settings.
A 2012 expert panel on homelessness among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians highlighted issues and solutions specific to these populations. This webinar includes participants from the expert panel who will address American Indian issues in mainland urban and reservation settings. This webinar will provide a meaningful discussion of homelessness among American Indian people, as well as some of the successful strategies for addressing homelessness, many of which have risen from rich cultural tribal roots. All times in EDT.
Sheila Cooper (Seneca) will open the event on behalf of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Ms. Cooper is the SAMHSA Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs. In this capacity, she coordinates communication and policy development to meet the mental health and substance use disorder needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Joyce Dampeer, Ph.D., is a senior licensed clinical psychologist, leader, and trainer in the behavioral health field, with over 25 years of experience managing and delivering technical assistance. Dr. Dampeer has a lengthy history of providing technical assistance for tribal entities, including serving as the Project Manager for CSAT’s Target Cities and Rural, Remote, and Culturally Distinct Technical Assistance Project, which focused, in part, on working with tribal governments.
Richard Martel (Plains Cree) is the Program Coordinator for the Native American Talking Circle of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH). Since talking circles have been effectively used by many Indian Nations for thousands of years, CCH adopted this practice some years ago in order to support American Indians and Alaskan Natives experiencing homelessness in their efforts to achieve and maintain sobriety. The CCH Native American Talking Circle provides a safe place where people experiencing homelessness feel empowered to share their thoughts and concerns, know they will be heard, and can help one another find and share community resources. The Talking Circle Program has grown from 6 to 600 participants in the past three years, and currently offers four Circles per week.
Nelson Jim, M.A. (Dineh) is the Director of Cultural Competence and Client Relations with the San Francisco City/County Department of Public Health. Mr. Jim is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, and has strong cultural and spiritual ties to the traditional way of life, cosmology, and healing ways. Mr. Jim has over 18 years of experience in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, HIV mental health, homelessness, and supported housing program services.