Bridges to Recovery – Grants for the Benefits of Homeless Individuals

Pictured Above (L-R): Malik Owens, Jolan Dawson, Porsche Skinner, and Pamela Velazquez

Jolan Dawson, Project Director

Jolan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Culture from Indiana University Bloomington and her Masters of Arts in Clinical Adult Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She began her clinical career working at Gateway Foundation as a substance use treatment counselor for approximately three years. During this time she discovered her passion for clinical practices that emphasize mindfulness and worked closely with a mentor in clinical psychology for two years that helped her grow in that therapeutic approach. Following this clinical role, Jolan put her Communications degree to use by accepting a management role at Verizon Wireless where she spent five years growing her supervisorial skills. She joined the CLARE | MATRIX family as Project Director for GBHI, where she oversees the implementation of the grant and works to ensure clinical and professional continuum of care for the people in our programs. This includes setting and tracking goals and working with her team to make sure they are met.


Malik Owens, Outreach and Retention Coordinator

Malik has worked in the field of providing services to people experiencing homelessness for the past 5 years and is passionate about the work he does. He supports the GBHI Team as its Outreach and Retention Coordinator. His responsibilities include engaging with multiple organizations throughout the community to create partnerships aimed at better assisting those with substance use disorders and people experiencing homelessness. Malik engages potential participants on an individual level and provides information about how the GBHI program can benefit them. This level of engagement continues through the treatment process well into the first year of early recovery to ensure participants have adequate support.


Porsche Skinner, Housing and Benefits Coordinator

In her role as Housing and Benefits Coordinator, Porsche creates individualized action plans for each participant which helps them set goals and track their progress to achieving them. This includes, but is not limited to, job training, school enrollment, and connection to and enrollment in public social services. These services help participants gain their required documentation, including birth certificates and state-issued identification, needed for employment and permanent housing. Porsche also helps participants find recovery housing and other transitional forms of residency for people experiencing homelessness upon their exit from residential treatment services. Since taking on this role within the CLARE | MATRIX family more than one year ago, Porsche has successfully partnered with various sober living homes, implemented a transportation program, and connected with various job training programs and resources.


Pamela Velazquez, Recovery Support Specialist

As the Recovery Support Specialist for GBHI, Pamela is responsible for working directly with participants throughout CLARE | MATRIX’s residential and outpatient treatment programs during the transformative stages of early recovery. She encourages participants to become advocates for themselves and helps them learn and practice economic self-sufficiency. Pamela analyzes the progress of participants toward their goals and provides feedback through a partnership which helps identify areas for growth. In this journey, Pamela provides individualized recovery education, relapse prevention, and tangible social support which work together to create a solid foundation for long-term recovery.