2020 HSABC Conference Program

Each September HSABC hosts its annual conference, bringing together over one hundred fifty service providers across the province for training, networking, and sharing best practices and perspectives on tackling homelessness in BC.

This year will be a little different. HSABC is excited to offer a vibrant two-day virtual conference with a range of capacity building opportunities through regional roundtables, panels, workshops and training sessions, and keynote addresses from community leaders. This conference is centered around supporting partnerships between health and homelessness sectors.

HSABC’s conference program will also offer diverse interactive features such as virtual tours, community discussion boards and self-care opportunities.  Our event platform supports comprehensive networking opportunities through personalized attendee profiles, private messaging, virtual hangout events and other connection points based on each participants’ region, interests, and field of work. 


Conference Workshops:

Transitioning from temporary to permanent housing

The transition into permanent housing can be complex and health needs may begin to emerge as people are more connected to health and social services and have space and energy to focus on something more than simply meeting their most basic needs. This session will provide practical tools to support people through this transition.

Presenters: Intensive Housing Outreach Teams (IHOT)

Acute Care Best Practices for Patients Experiencing Homelessness

The Addiction Recovery and Community Health (ARCH) Team is a consult service at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, AB.  The team provides the following services for emergency department and admitted patients:  treatment recommendations for any substance of use; addiction counselling, peer supports and referral to recovery resources; assistance with the social determinants of health including housing, income supports, photo identification and Alberta health care coverage; and, health promotion interventions such as immunizations and screening for infections.  This session will focus on how the team works with patients experiencing homelessness, both while they are in hospital and after discharge in the ARCH Transitional Clinic.  Successes, challenges and next steps will be discussed.

Presenters: Dr. Kathryn Dong (ARCH Team) and Esther Leung (ARCH Team).

Sex Work Laws, Rights and Supports: Effectively Meeting the Needs of Sex Workers

This workshop is for social service providers whose work bring them into contact with sex workers. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of sex work stigma, laws, criminalization, rights and provincial resources with the goal of reducing barriers to service within your organization and/or community.

Prior to the webinar, we request participants watch the Living in Community video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_9YYJt4Saw  and Sex Work Stigma video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt_IoIWE8Q0

Presenters: Kerry Porth (Living in Community) and Alison Clancey (Living in Community)

Peer Employment Services

PEOPLE Employment Services seeks to transform the experiences of individuals experiencing vulnerable circumstances who are seeking help. We imagine a future where people seeking help are supported by individuals who understand their circumstances because they themselves have experienced something similar. We imagine a future where people with lived experience make all organizations become more inclusive. PEOPLE is also developing a specific Indigenous cultural mentorship stream that recognizes the role of cultural practices in healing for people experiencing trauma. We imagine giving all people seeking help the opportunity to access cultural and spiritual practices, such as song, smudge, tobacco ties, or going to the land. Come join this session to learn about the work PEOPLE does, and how it can be applied in your community!

Presenter: Paid Employment Opportunities for People with Live Experience (PEOPLE) Employment Services.

Building Resiliency in the Workplace: Introduction to Coping with Trauma Exposures

In the places we work, we are exposed to potentially traumatizing events that can have an impact on our nervous systems. In this workshop, we will take a look at what leads to the traumatization of workers and where we can intervene on an individual and team level to buffer the impacts of workplace-related trauma exposures.

Goals and Key Takeaways:

- Better understanding of what leads to traumatization of the nervous system in a support worker role.

- Key places to intervene during and following a trauma exposure to prevent traumatization.

- A better understanding of trauma-informed coping strategies, including but not limited, types of strategies, timing and sequence.

Presenter: Kennedy Lewis, MA, CCC (Extraordinary Workers)

Grief and Loss: Bereavement Training for Professionals

This session will explore models of grief and griever styles. Participants will gain a better understanding of the impacts of primary and secondary losses, strategies for healing, organizational/community grief, workplace loss, and death in the workplace.

Presenter: Dr. Cheryl L Bucar (Living through Loss Counselling Society OF BC)


More content and information to come!

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Zharkyn Baiazova at