At the intersection of homelessness and disability sits the need for intentional intervention, both between collaborating service providers and clients receiving care from community workers. Using a harm reduction approach, along with interventions that meet the client where they are, direct line personnel go out into the community and complete their work with clients “in vivo” or at the place of a client’s choice. For some, this is on the park bench where they spend their days, or in the makeshift home they have created in a local park. Join us as we discuss how addressing client disability needs, housing, and in-the-moment care and support create opportunities for clients to not only participate in their care, but have a strong drive and determination to solve the barriers that prevent their progress forward.
Heather Pierucki serves as the Director of Behavioral Health at Helping Hands Hawaii, overseeing the Community Based Case Management/Community Based Care Coordination, Hawaii Pathways Project, and clinical aspects of the Representative Payee departments. She is responsible for managing behavioral health contracts that directly serve low income and homeless communities, focusing on consumers dealing with homelessness, mental illness, and substance use disorders. She also provides clinical supervision to the Behavioral Health staff.
Heather graduated with her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor through the State of Hawaii and serves as one of the Qualified Mental Health Professionals at Helping Hands. Her experience ranges from adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness, children and adults with developmental disorders, couples and family counseling, alcohol and drug treatment in both residential and outpatient settings, and clinical supervision of counselors pursuing licensure in the state.
In her free time, Heather can be found running and biking around Oahu, as well as chasing her two dogs who have an affinity for sneaking out of the yard for adventures.