The 2012 National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium & Mental Health America Annual Conference will offer Workshops in Motion – the opportunity for attendees to board busses and tour nationally-recognized housing and recovery support programs that are making a difference in the Tulsa community. Attendees will visit a peer-run drop-in center, safe havens, and transitional, 24-hour permanent supported, single-site and scattered-site housing models operating on the Housing First philosophy.
At each stop, attendees will meet not only the staff, volunteers and managers of the various programs and properties – many of whom are recovering from homelessness, serious mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders themselves – but they will also hear from program participants and residents, including those with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, who have been able to rebuild and reclaim their lives as a result of having a safe, decent and affordable place to live and appropriate wrap-around supports.
Ultimately, the goal is to provide attendees with examples of housing development options and program supports that they can take back to their communities to establish or enhance opportunities to help those who live with serious mental illnesses re-integrate back into the fabric of the community. In addition, Workshops in Motion will feature the Mental Health Association in Tulsa’s business model that includes property management, maintenance and operations which have created transitional and permanent employment opportunities for people living in recovery. This includes the Altamont Bakery, which was created through Tulsa’s Housing Faith Alliance and pairs volunteers from a local Synagogue with formerly homeless individuals to work side-by-side as they bake and market the ultimate in chocolate chip cookies to local vendors.