2018: Harm Reduction in the House: Collective Care


Harm Reduction in the House 2018: Collective Care

UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted, Chicago
8:15 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. – Wednesday, October 3, 2018
The 8th annual Harm Reduction in the House conference will take place on the 3rd of October 2018

Last year, we focused on resisting the current political landscape that threatens the very core of our work. Together at this conference, we came together as a creative community to build resourceful resistance for us to continue our work as we’ve always done and brave the oncoming storm. This year, we deepen our focus on collective care strategies that can support the people we serve and each other.

This annual conference focuses on the process, challenges, and advantages of creating and working in housing programs that embrace harm reduction—that is, housing that does not require abstinence from risky behaviors. Over the years we have expanded our harm reduction conversations to include other services and providers who help to enable the stability of people in housing.

The theme for this year’s conference is Collective Care. We often hear about the importance of self-care in doing this difficult work. But self-care isn’t enough, we need collective care. This means not just taking responsibility for our own well-being, but taking care of each other. Humans are social creatures that exist interdependently. We need to support one another not only through the tough times, but in our daily work as well. At this conference, we will learn about innovative programs and strategies used to improve our communities, with a focus on the ways we are caring for each other. Please join us for a day of Collective Care!

 Registration is open now! Click here to register! 




Opening Session: Bringing Safe Consumption Spaces to Chicago

Presented by: Erica Ernst, LCSW, RDDP, EMT-P, CADC, Geoff Bathje, PhD, Suzanne Carlberg-Racich, PhD, MSPH, ​​​​​Larry Kirkpatrick, CADC, and Stephan Kamenicky

People who use drugs are leading the charge for Safe Consumption Spaces. SCS can reduce the transmission of HIV and HCV, prevent fatal overdoses, and reduce unnecessary incarceration. Attendees will gain an understanding of the existing models of SCS/SIF, and the efforts to bring one to Chicago through the Drug Users Health Collective of Chicago.

Learn More: Drug Users Health Collective

Cut it Out: Harm Reduction Strategies for Self-Harm

Presented by: Kimber Brightheart, LCSW

There are indefinite reasons why someone may engage in self-harm. However, there are minimal resources on using harm reduction strategies. This workshop aims to provide information, resources, and harm reduction strategies for self-harm. We will also touch on the unintentional harm we cause ourselves by working in social services.

Powerpoint: Cut it Out Self Harm 

Panel: Engaging Law Enforcement to Implement Community Harm Reduction Outreach Programs

Panelists: Chelsea Laliberte, Judge Christopher Stride, State Attorney Mike Neirheim, and Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC

This panel will bring together outreach workers, social workers, and criminal justice professionals to engage in a thoughtful and compassionate discussion about successfully implementing community-based harm reduction outreach programs. Objectives of the panel includes: a) addressing myths and misnomers about involving criminal justice entities and their lens regarding health and harm reduction, b) sharing practical strategies to engaging various groups to work towards collaboratively agreed upon goals, c) successful harm reduction outreach strategies in urban and suburban settings with law enforcement as critical entities.

Learn More: Live4Ali

Engaging Rural Communities in Harm Reduction: Strategies and Innovations

Panelists: Luke Tomsha, Chad Sabora, and Courtney Remacle

Harm reduction strategies have been well established in urban and metropolitan communities, with mostly positive community buy-in and support. With fewer resources and limited access to agencies doing this work, harm reductionists in rural communities have had to work creatively to address the needs of people who use drugs in their areas. Attendees from rural, suburban, and urban communities will learn a variety of strategies implemented from the rural harm reduction perspective to address the needs of their communities, including what has worked, what hasn’t, and what next steps the panelists hope to take.

Powerpoint: Engaging Rural Communities 

Learn More: Perfectly Flawed

The Community Action Place

Violence Reduction: Moving Communities Toward Healing-Centered Care

Panelists: Jacqueline Summerville-White, BS, Marlon Chamberlain, Ayesha Muhammad, Raqueal Pullums, BS, and Aaron Mallory, AM, LCSW

In this session panelists will discuss READI Chicago, a community violence prevention effort. This initiative includes aspects of harm reduction and collective care practices. Panelists will highlight ways in which Community Based Organizations in this effort focus on care for participants and staff, and address vicarious trauma with individuals and communities. Additionally, panelists will share strategies on proactive and reactive responses to individual, organizational, and community crises.

Learn More: READI Chicago

What’s Red Got to do with it? Building Conservative Champions for Harm Reduction

Presented by: Sarah Ziegenhorn, Jonathan Birdsall, Vanessa Fields, and Tiffany Carter (Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition)

Despite the U.S. overdose crisis, the midwestern region outside of Chicago has been slow to adopt and implement traditional harm reduction strategies and programs. Many midwestern states have struggled to introduce such programmatic approaches due to political opposition,  In this workshop we will explore two theoretical models for relationship building and message crafting that can be used to develop conservative champions for harm reduction. We will practice applying these theories and explore how they can be used to create shifts in our ability to establish connection across the political spectrum.

Learn More: Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition

Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration in the Community

Presented by: Vilmarie Narloch, PsyD, and Geoff Bathje, PhD, and Stephen Kotsiris, BS

This session will focus on helping attendees develop an understanding of psychedelics and relevant harm reduction strategies, gain knowledge about the concept of “integration” of psychedelic experiences, understand the importance of building community support for people who use psychedelics, and understand upcoming legislative changes related to the legal use of psychedelics (MDMA and psilocybin).

Powerpoint: Psychedelic Harm Reduction

Integrating Harm Reduction Counseling Services into Existing Organizations

Presented by: Geoff Bathje, PhD, Ben Wegner, MA, and Cynthia Northington, MSNM

Chicago Recovery Alliance’s development of harm reduction counseling services in partnership with Franciscan Outreach will be discussed to demonstrate how to integrate harm reduction counseling services into existing agencies. Areas covered will include needs assessment, program development, implementation, and seeking funding within a harm reduction framework to reach highly marginalized, low SES populations.

Powerpoint: Integrating Harm Reduction

Self-Care Meets Collective Care: Supporting Participants, Colleagues, and Ourselves

Presented by: Jessica Kalvig

This workshop will provide self-care skills centered on managing challenging participant-provider relationships. We will discuss unconditional positive regard, and what harm reduction and healthy boundaries look like within our organizations. Our best work is done when we find that sweet spot where self-care meets collective care.

Powerpoint: Self-Care Meets Collective-Care Supporting Our Participants, Our Colleagues, and Ourselves

Handout: Self-Care Meets Collective Care Breakdown

How the Sex Trafficking Moral Panic Has Increased Harm to Sex Workers

Presented by: Danielle Bastian, LCSW, and Emily Kissner, MA

The recent passage of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, along with the FBI raid on Backpage.com has impacted sex workers throughout the US. While these actions seek to protect the victims of sex trafficking, they have removed safe working spaces for individuals in the sex trade and could likely increase trafficking. This presentation will examine the impact of the moral panic around sex trafficking and how the conflation of sex work and trafficking resulted in increased legislation targeting platforms that sex workers use for safety.

Learn More: SWOP










For contact information, questions, comments, or concerns, please email MHRI@heartlandalliance.org