Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) and its leaders continued to be active participants in local collaborative task forces and other efforts in partnership with those in the community to improve the health and well-being of families experiencing homelessness.

Melissa Johnson continued as co-facilitator of the Trauma Informed Network, a professional collaborative group interested in expanding trauma informed practices in Philadelphia. Trauma-informed care acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual’s life — the people we serve and staff who work to help them.

HHI continues its collaboration with the Children’s Work Group-Early Childhood (CWGEC) committee and the Building Early Links to Learning (BELL) team. CWGEC connects provider staff, city departments, funders, healthcare providers, early childhood educators, advocates and other professionals, providing a forum to discuss and advocate for the needs of young children who experience homelessness. HHI has worked closely with the CWGEC and BELL team to encourage developmentally supportive environments for children living in shelter, including the promotion of breastfeeding-friendly shelters.

Karen Hudson presented her research on the effect on fathers’ parental involvement when they aren’t allowed to stay with their families in homeless shelters and the Family Care Curriculum to the Children’s Work Group.

HHI hosted three stakeholder meetings in 2018. The March Day of Dialogue focused on engaging fathers. Stakeholder meetings were held in May and September. The May meeting marked the first mention of a possible collaborative shelter job fair, which culminated in a successful event in October.