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Homeless Training Institute

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Joplin Public Library

1901 East 20th Street

Joplin, MO 64804

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Has your library ever faced challenges with patrons exhibiting negative behaviors, or perhaps suffering from homelessness?

Ryan Dowd has spent most of his career running the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois
He began volunteering at Hesed House when he was thirteen years old, and started working at that same shelter while in college. After law school, he transitioned from an intern to Executive Director and has been there most of the time since, helping to grown it grow from the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois into one of the country’s first “comprehensive homeless resource centers.”

He began training libraries on how to work with difficult homeless patrons, which led to the book

“The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness: An Empathy-Driven Approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict, and Serving Everyone” published by the ALA.

Now he travels doing trainings for multiple entities while still being the Executive Director at Hesed House.

You are invited to participate in a "Homeless Training Institute led by Mr. Dowd.

Objective for this training include:

  1. To teach staff the power they have to resolve problems with patrons, homeless or not;
  1. Staff will gain greater confidence in solving problem with patrons;
  1. The library will have fewer behavioral problems; and
  1. Library staff will become more compassionate and inclusive for all its patrons.

A working lunch is included in the day. If registration exceeds seats, attendance from individuals *may* be limited.


This activity is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Joplin Public Library

1901 East 20th Street

Joplin, MO 64804

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