Meet Jeffrey Jackson, our July Featured Housing First University Trainer. Jeff is one of our Senior Team Leaders and Trainers at Pathways to Housing PA and Housing First University.
Jeff: I joined Pathways to Housing PA in April 2017, as an Assistant Team Leader. After helping to fortify and build a strong base of Best Practices for Team 7, I was promoted to Team Leader and entrusted to do the same for Team 8. Then after getting Team 8 up and functioning at a high level I was chosen to build up the newest substance use disorder Team 9. I am now one of the Senior Team Leaders and one of the trainers for Housing First University specializing in OUD and Housing, using a Harm Reduction approach. I have over 20 years of Clinical and Supervisory experience in the Behavioral Health Field and I received my Master’s of Arts, from Alvernia University in 2005, with a concentration in Counseling and Addiction Studies. Since 2008, I have been very passionate about finding respectable and affordable housing for individuals struggling with Substance Use Disorder & Mental Illness. I am currently in a Doctoral program specializing in Leadership and Organizational Management at Capella University with an expected completion date of December 16, 2022.
Question: What did you do prior to working at Pathways to Housing PA?
Jeff: Prior to my work at PTHPA, I served as the Clinical Supervisor and Intake Coordinator at Addiction Medicine & Health Advocates Inc. (AMHA), a Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program. I have made it a personal mission to help tackle the stigma of individuals on medication-assisted treatment (MAT), not being able to reside in recovery houses due to them being on MAT. I am passionate about fair affordable housing, ending homelessness, HIV & its cure, and advocating for Dignity & Respect for all human beings.
Q: What are your thoughts about being a trainer?
Jeff: I love doing trainings to educate others about Housing First and harm reduction. I decided to do trainings with Housing First University to help inform as many agencies and people as possible about the positive benefits of Housing First and harm reduction.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about being a Team Leader?
Jeff: I am a firm believer that people don’t leave jobs. They leave leaders. I try to be a Team Leader who is respectful to all staff but also one that helps the staff feel heard and embrace the mission of the organization.
Q: What made you decide to work at Pathways and what do you love about it?
Jeff: I chose Pathways because I started a nonprofit in 2008 (Dignity Recovery Corporation) trying to do some of the very things Pathways is doing now. I just didn’t have the knowledge, experience, or funding to make it work. Being here at Pathways is very rewarding to my core beliefs that everyone deserves a stable place to live with respect and dignity. I really love the passion of the staff here at Pathways. I love that we have the ability to get people off the streets and into their own living space with the needed supports to maintain their housing.