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“Building Bridges With Law Enforcement” Understanding Homelessness Albuquerque Homeless Power Project Training the Trainer’s Manual “A Guide for Consumers on How to Use Experience, Strength and Hope to Train Law Enforcement”

April 3, 2016

“Building Bridges With Law Enforcement” Understanding Homelessness Albuquerque Homeless Power Project Training the Trainer’s Manual “A Guide for Consumers on How to Use Experience, Strength and Hope to Train Law Enforcement”

  • Albuquerque Homeless Power Project teaches Homeless and the Mentally Ill how to advocate for themselves.
    Empowers our Homeless and Mentally Ill


    “BUILDING BRIDGES WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT” “Understanding Homelessness”
    Training the Trainers  how to use experience, strength and hope training  law enforcement in relating to challenges of people living in public places.
    The workshop is designed for patrol officers, park rangers, university police, paramedics, workers on the 16th Street Mall, staff in public buildings and anyone who works in security.
    Components:   2  to 4 hours
    ice breakers
    1:1 storytelling listening circles
    facts on homelessness
    stereotypes awareness activity
    presentation from homeless service providers
    videos on homelessness
    role-plays collaborative
    solutions planning
    8 a.m. introduction
    overview of workshop
    interactions with homeless participants
    8:10  Stereotype Activity
    what are stereotypes of police?
    What are stereotypes of homeless people or whoever is involved?
    Definition of stereotypes
    (Big Group Activity 8:20)
    Process experiences
    8:25  Homeless testimony
    8:30  Facts regarding homelessness
             real causes of homelessness
    8:40  Concentric Circles
    present questions to dyads one person listens and the other person responds to question.
    9:00  overview of social services
             Advocates and outreach workers  introduce themselves, what they do and their work.  
    9:25 break
    9:35 video
    9:45 Role Plays
            Ask for 3 volunteers
            Present scenario
    2nd role play situation
    10:30 What Police Officers can do
    1 thing that can be done differently.
    go through the group and have each person offer a brief response.
    10:55 Closing
              Community closing  
    This program is complete with component parts, activities, lesson plans, materials needed and resources. The plans can be duplicated and provided for different groups and specific circumstances
“Building Bridges With Law Enforcement”  is working throughout the nation started in Nashville, Tennessee at the National Health Care for the Homeless and developed by two pioneer women in Albuquerque, NM called  Albuquerque Homeless Power Project.  They have a web site and  a facebook community and you can google their success.
THEY’RE program is free.  I was at a workshop of theirs at the Regional meeting of thed Health Care for the Homeless at the Convention Center this Thursday and Friday.  I was a participant in the role plays and they are starling, disturbing and life-changing.
I contacted both of them through the website after I made the initial appeal to you to create this module and training program to SUIT YOU!  They asked to speak to me personally about the training next week.  I am including their personal information because I WANT DENVER to rise above the rest of the nation as a place of comfort and care using trauma techniques to understand our differences.  I am certain that this resource is a gift for all of us.
Kristin   Leve,            505 463 2436
Carmon Ryals   505 589 2605


Committee Involvement: Client Board Advisory Committee Co-Chair

Carmón is a native New Mexican, past consumer, who currently volunteers her time with Street Safe New Mexico (Safe Sex Works) , DOH’s needle exchange program and APD Forward. She previously assisted in developing the Building Bridges With Law Enforcement training program in Nashville, TN, a program that was successfully implemented within the Nashville Police Training Academy that teaches the new recruits trauma-informed methods of dealing with people experiencing homelessness and mental illness in their community, and worked with the Nashville Homeless Power Project, a non-profit organization of homeless and formerly homeless people focused on advocating for the rights of the homeless.  Carmón is currently working with other homeless and formerly homeless individuals to begin a similar project here in Albuquerque.

November 16, 2014

Two friends, and colleagues on the streets, are starting a new organization to help people experiencing homelessness advocate for their rights and needs.

This is a good news story. I realize my stories from the streets tend to be about sad or tragic or seemingly hopeless situations.

Today, I’m writing about hope.

Modeled after a similar nonprofit organization in Nashville, Tenn., Kristin Leve and Carmon Ryals, both formerly homeless and currently living with mental illness, are organizing the Albuquerque Homeless Power Project. They plan to launch the organization early in 2015, and are meeting now to develop values, goals, mission – all that stuff you need to start a nonprofit.

But they’re not waiting to get the word out. Check out and like the new Facebook page.

Carmon, who was part of the Power Project in Nashville, posts about experiencing homelessness there.

“Living at my camp, blessed with a tent. A woman alone, always on guard. Developed anxiety from being out there along with PTSD. But I now have the skills to show the way for others,” she says.

Kristin and Carmon are no novices when it comes to advocating for people in poverty and homelessness. Carmon and I volunteer together with Street Safe New Mexico, a group that reaches out to sex workers on the streets to lend an ear, share information and referrals, and provide condoms, sanitary products, wet wipes and other things to ease the danger and grime of their lives. We also serve together on the board of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.

Kristin’s resume of service would balloon this article to way-too-many words. She formerly was chair of the board at Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, and serves on several governance committees there still. She works nationally on committees that help people experiencing homelessness.

Both have been down that scary road of homelessness themselves and are rebuilding their lives. You can Google their stories. They’re passionate to share their power for change with others.

Here’s a taste of what’s being done in Nashville.

“The Nashville Homeless Power Project is a non-profit organization of homeless and formerly homeless people focused on advocating for the rights of the homeless in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We are homeless and formerly homeless people confronting the root causes of poverty and oppression. We fight for the human rights of all poor people while striving for the civil rights of those who remain on the streets. We believe that housing, healthcare, food security and use of public facilities are rights that we all deserve. We develop concrete solutions by building power through relationships with our brothers and sisters in the streets, allies, and decision makers. WE ORGANIZE FOR CHANGE!”

Community model for moving law enforcement reform forward: Essential elements of Albuquerque’s APD forward campaign & consumer-driven training

Wednesday, June 1, 2016: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Broadway IV (Hilton Portland)

Throughout the past five decades in the US, communities have experienced alarming and rising levels of excessive use of force by law enforcement. Recently, those communities most vulnerable and exposed to such tactics and the resulting devastation are organizing and, with their allies, demanding accountability and change. Health Care for the Homeless projects are in a pivotal position to help lead the effort. In 2012, the Department of Justice announced its intent to investigate the Albuquerque Police Department after 25 shootings in just two years. The DOJ released a scathing report in April 2014 finding a pattern and practice of civil rights violations. Local organizations formed a coalition dedicated to ensuring real reform, a structure and resources to enforce it, and a broad and united group prepared to hold decision makers and those responsible for implementation accountable to the community. From that discussion, APD Forward was launched.This workshop will engage participants in a case presentation and discussion of the role of HCH projects in reform accountability. Panel presenters include coalition founders who represent an HCH project, a legal advocacy organization, and community organizing entity. In addition, consumer leaders will demonstrate the Building Bridges curriculum. In 2004, Nashville Homeless Power Project developed this training led by people currently or previously experiencing homelessness after criminalization efforts in the city dramatically increased tensions between these groups. The training is designed to disprove stereotypes, build relationships among people experiencing homelessness, law enforcement and social workers, and identify alternatives to the current police responses to people on the streets.

Jennifer L. Metzler, MPH , Peter Simonson, Ph.D. , Adriann Barboa , Carmon Ryals, N/A and Kristin Leve, N/A
Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless
PO Box 25445
Albuquerque, NM 87125-0445
1217 First Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
General – (505) 766-5197
Medical Clinic – (505) 242-4644
Medical Records – (505) 767-1127

General – (505) 766-6945
Medical Records – (505) 242-3531


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