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Policy Seminars & Webinars

Explore below to view past events and stay up to date with our future plans!

The Policy Seminar Series began in 2019. The series features collaborative discussions with service providers, academics, advocates, policymakers, journalists and people with the lived experience of homelessness addressing issues that impact homelessness in NYC.

Policy seminars and webinars are one our organization’s most effective methods of communicating our goals and interacting with our community. Please explore below to watch past events and stay up to date with new ones.

Ending Chronic Homelessness: What Can We Learn from Houstonโ€™s Success?

The City of Houston, the nationโ€™s fourth most populous city, has received well-deserved recognition for successfully implementing a housing-first approach to addressing homelessness. According to The Way Home Continuum of Care 2023 Report, the overall number of people experiencing homelessness in the Houston region has decreased by 61% since 2011. In that timeframe, more than 28,000 people have transitioned directly into permanent housing. Additionally, they have succeeded in closing numerous homeless encampments across the city and saw a 17% reduction in unsheltered homelessness between 2022 and 2023.

This remarkable progress is the outcome of collaborative efforts spanning many years among various nonprofit organizations and local government partners. By leveraging resources effectively, this collaboration has successfully matched individuals experiencing homelessness with appropriate housing interventions.

Learn More About the Seminar and Our Panelists

Originally held on April 16th, 2024.

Health Care Access for Homeless New Yorkers:
Where We Are and Where We Need to Be

Access to comprehensive health care is a critical component of ending homelessness. Even with an expansive health care network, there remain significant barriers to accessing primary, behavioral, and specialty care.

To advocate for much-needed changes, we need to understand the landscape of health care services available. In this seminar, we will hear from several experts about what health systems are in place to provide these services. Additionally, they will discuss what must be done to both bridge the gaps and expand the capacity to respond to the health needs of individuals and families experiencing unstable housing.

Learn More About the Seminar and Our Panelists

Originally held on June 22nd, 2023.

In the Midst of Plenty:
Homelessness and What to Do About It

This webinar features a discussion with Dr. Jill Khadduri, co-author of In the Midst of Plenty: Homelessness and What to Do About It. The book discusses solutions that local communities and national lawmakers can apply now to end the U.S. homelessness crisis.

Additionally, it shifts our understanding of homelessness away from issues of individual circumstance and embeds it in the larger context of poverty, income inequality, housing affordability, and social exclusion.

After her presentation, Dr. Khadduri took questions from a panel of experts.


David Brand, Deputy Editor at City Limits

M.A. Dennis, Poet and Consumer Advocate at Care For the Homeless

Molly Wasow Park, First Deputy Commissioner at the NYC Department of Homeless Services

Originally held on November 10th, 2022.

Meeting the Need:
Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Services

The availability and efficacy of behavioral health services for people experiencing homelessness in NYC must be evaluated. Currently, several sectors are working to identify ways of meeting the need.

As advocates, we want to ensure that both the conversations and policy recommendations focus on addressing the systemic barriers to care. Furthermore, we want to ensure that they donโ€™t further stigmatize individuals with behavioral health needs.


Dr. Rebecca Capasso, Assistant Director of Inpatient Psychiatry at Bellevue

Dr. Tony Carino, Director of Psychiatry at Janian Medical Care

Edner Cuvilly, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Care For the Homeless

M.A. Dennis, Poet and Consumer Advocate

Simone Thompson, Director of Shelter Services at Care For the Homeless

Moderator: Michelle Everett-Oxley, Executive Director of Health Care at Care For the Homeless

Originally held on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022.

Ending Homelessness in NYC:
Where do We Stand?

The election of New York Cityโ€™s next mayor and City Council is on the horizon. As this change approaches, we must consider what homelessness policy issues the incoming administration needs to prioritize that will address the inequities that have contributed to the current crisis.

In this webinar, our panel of experts address these pressing issues and discuss how we can push the new administration to create a policy agenda explicitly focused on ending homelessness.

Specific topics explored include: housing, health care, feeder systems, family homelessness, and much more.


Moderator: George Nashak, President and CEO at Care For the Homeless

Dr. Kelly Doran, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Population Health at NYU School of Medicine and Emergency Physician at Bellevue Hospital

Karen Ford, Chief Operating Officer at HELP USA

Rangi McNeil, Poet and Consumer Advocate

Frederick Shack, Chief Executive Officer at Urban Pathways

Felipe Vargas, Vice President of Programs at the DOE Fund

Read Their Full Bios

Originally held October 26th, 2021.

Within Reach:
Delivering Health Services to Unsheltered New Yorkers

There is a high rate of chronic and acute physical health conditions among unsheltered New Yorkers. These conditions are exacerbated by their limited access to care. So, there is urgent need for innovative ways to connect them with comprehensive medical services. Our panel of experts discuss cross-sector efforts that have led to successful interventions. They also discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on these programs.


Moderator: Dr. Andrea Littleton, Medical Director at BronxWorks and Physician at Care For the Homeless

Scott Auwarter, Assistant Executive Director, BronxWorks

Casey Burke, Program Director,Breaking Ground

Douglas Wykle, Care For the Homeless Consumer

Dr. Van Yu, Chief Medical Officer, Janian Medical Care, Center for Urban Community Services2

Originally held on June 8th, 2021.

Breaking the Cycle:
From Disparity to Equity

Our expert board of panelists discuss racial health disparities that impact communities in New York City, with a particular focus on its intersection with housing instability.

Questions addressed include: What has the COVID-19 pandemic exposed and what lessons have we learned? What is already being done and what further investments are necessary to address racial health disparities?

Additionally, the panel discusses topics related to the impact of parental death on New Yorkโ€™s children as well as structural inequalities in New Yorkโ€™s health care system that exacerbate health disparities. Also, efforts by the public hospital system to have a larger impact on underserved patients.

A question and answer period follows the initial the discussion.


Moderator: Dr. Pamela Riley, MD, MPH,
Medical Director for the Department of Health Care Finance
Board of Directors Member, Care For the Homeless

Elisabeth Benjamin, MSPH, JD
Vice President of Health Initiatives Community Service Society

Dr. Amanda K. Johnson, MD, MBA,
Senior Director of Care Models, The Office of Ambulatory Care for NYC Heath + Hospitals

Kristina Ramos-Callan, MA,
Program Manager, United Hospital Fund

Closing Remarks: Bobby Watts, MPH, MS, CPH
Chief Executive Officer, National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Read Their Full Bios

Originally held October 27th, 2020.

Homeless Health Care Delivery
During COVID-19 and Beyond

In this webinar, the panelists share their knowledge on health care delivery models for people experiencing homelessness, discuss how programs look to address challenges experienced during the pandemic and identify service gaps that homeless service providers can address moving forward, to increase health care access.


Dr. Fabienne Laraque, Department of Homeless Services Medical Director
Keynote Speaker

Dr. Regina Olasin, Care For the Homeless Chief Medical Officer

E.J. Bryant-Mazauskas, CFH Consumer
Luis Fernandez, CFH Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor
Nora Leuth, CFH Family Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Henrietta Okpala, CFH Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Simone Thompson, CFH Director of Shelter Services

Originally held on September 16th, 2020

The Trauma of Homelessness

Originally held on October 1st, 2019.

Future Policy Seminars and Webinars

Every policy seminar and webinar is announced well in advance on our ‘Events’ page. Click below to explore and see what events we have planned for the future!