2018 CoC Training Conference

River Valleys CoC is partnering with the Southwest Minnesota CoC to provide a full day of training for CoC members and partners.

Better Together is a one-day gathering to network and learn about best practices to improve services and partnerships that make a real impact on homelessness in southern Minnesota. Gather with an estimated 150 regional partners as we inspire and support each other to take on local needs, try innovative models, forge new collaborations, engage in systemic changes, and share successes. We have big goals, and we’re better together! 

Attendees will include housing and shelter programs, schools, community mental health and social service providers, advocates, faith-based programs, persons with homeless experience, property management, policy makers, Tribal Nations, local government, state government, and anyone who wants to participate in building a more coordinated, effective, and responsive system to prevent and end homelessness!

2018 Conference Booklet


Fee: $35 per person

  • Registration includes lunch and snacks for participants
  • NOTE: Attendance is limited and is prioritized for people who live or work in the Southwest Minnesota CoC region or in River Valleys CoC region (map). Attendees from the priority region are encouraged to submit their registration and payment as soon as possible. Registrations received from outside the two CoC regions will be placed in pending status until the registration deadline. If space is still available, registrants from outside the region will be accepted and notified beginning on October 22 in the order they were received. Payment is still required by the October 31 deadline.   
  • Scholarships available for people who are experiencing homeless or recently homeless. Contact for details.
  • 5.0 hours CEUs pending through Minnesota Board of Social Work. See below for breakout session topics!

Register online by October 19, 2018.

Registration Fees are due (by check) on or before October 31, 2018.  Submit payment to Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. 1414 North Star Drive, Zumbrota, MN 55992.


The WOW! Zone
2030 Adams Street
Mankato, MN 56001
Finding the WOW! Zone map
Lodging, if needed, is on your own. Many hotels are located nearby. 

Conference Schedule

Registration 8:30-9:00am

Register and check-in for CEUs                     
Breakout Session 1 --  9:00 - 10:15am.         
Continuum of Care 101
Planning for Safety in Coordinated Entry
Developing and Maximizing Relationships with Landlords
Poverty in the Classroom
Ethics and Boundaries                               

Breakout Session 2 -- 10:30-11:45am.         

Introduction to Coordinated Entry
Legal Protections and Options to Secure Safe & Stable Housing
A Housing Providers Approach to Tenant Selection and Housing Stability Services
Housing Authority Preferences as a Tool in the Homeless Response System
Am I doing What’s Mine? Guidance for Self-Care                         

Lunch/Keynote -- 12:00-1:15pm.

Jennifer Lemaile Ho: Are we really ending homelessness?                   

Breakout Session 3 -- 1:30-2:45pm. 

Coordinated Entry through the Lens of HMIS Data
Just Ask: A Survivor and Provider's Perspective on Effectively Offering Services to Victims of Exploitation and Trafficking
Harm Reduction: Meeting People Where They Are, and Sticking With Them
Considerations for Effective Emergency Shelter and Voucher Services
Best Practices for HUD CoC Grantees                  

Breakout Session 4 -- 3:00-4:15pm. 

Rapid Rehousing and Coordinated Entry
Advocating to End Homelessness
Using SOAR to Advance Minnesota’s Mission to Prevent & End Homelessness
Felony Unfriendly: Overcome Criminal, Credit, and Rental History Barriers in a Housing Search
Increasing Stability with Jobs and Training                         

Fun & Games at the WOW!Zone – 4:15

Optional, on your own: Stay for networking and fun! Bowling, laser tag, arcade games, and food and drink!

Keynote speaker

Jennifer Leimaile Ho

Jennifer served in the Administration of President Barack Obama from February 2010 through January 2017, first as Deputy Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), then as senior advisor on housing and health to two Secretaries of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At USICH, she helped shepherd the creation of Opening Doors, the first comprehensive federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. At HUD, she managed a partnership with HHS that encompassed homelessness, disability, aging and children, improving alignment between HUD and HHS programs, including extensive work with the Center for Medicaid.

She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

She spent ten years working in managed care, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and United Health Group. Jennifer was the first executive director of Hearth Connection, a Minnesota nonprofit.

Now back home in Minnesota, Jennifer began consulting in July 2017. Her clients include the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, A Way Home America, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.

Continuing education 

Continuing Education for the Better Together Conference 2018 is co-sponsored by River Valleys CoC and Three Rivers Community Action.  Three Rivers Community Action/River Valleys Continuum of Care, provider # 1087, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Minnesota Board of Social Work

Total Hours Offered:                5.00 hours

Continuing education credit is awarded and verified on a session-by-session basis with full attendance required for each session attended. Conference attendees who wish to receive continuing education credit MUST check in at the continuing education desk to receive continuing education materials for completion.

If you have questions regarding continuing education, the program, speaker bios, or learning objectives, please contact Jennifer Prins at

Skill level: Sessions are ranked for skill level (introductory/awareness, intermediate, advanced). Participants are urged to review session description for appropriateness for professional and personal development.

Instruction method: May include lecture, audio-visuals, demonstration, experiential practice of techniques, large and small group discussion.

Non-credit activities: Credit is not offered for breakfast, lunch, social events, or networking time. 

Academic credit: The Conference offers no “academic” credit and continuing education hours awarded are not eligible toward fulfillment of a degree.


  • HUD Continuum of Care and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for CoC staff planning and coordination time
  • WOW! Zone for space contribution
  • Southwest Initiative Foundation for scholarships and other event costs