Meet Our Team: Christine Laguna, PhD

The Housing First teams provide care, support and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The mobile, multi-disciplinary staff tailors services to meet each person’s unique needs and provides them wherever the person lives – on the streets, in a shelter or in permanent supportive housing. We will spotlight a staff member each month and share their insight. Read what Christine A. Laguna, PhD, Practice Manager, Healthy Community Collaborative at Integral Care, has to say about the importance of Housing First Oak Springs.

1. What is your role at Integral Care?  

I am the Practice Manager of the Healthy Community Collaborative program – we focus on serving individuals who are chronically homeless and struggle with mental health and substance use issues and helping them get into stable housing.

2. What do you find the most challenging aspect of your job? 

Knowing that the number of extremely vulnerable individuals living on the streets, and the need for affordable low barrier housing, far exceeds what we have in our city.  It is hard to reach out to engage people who have been marginalized by society and not be able to put a roof over their head as quickly as any of us would like.

3. What is on your wish list for the next 5 years with Integral Care? 

I would love to see more housing first projects – housing is a healthcare intervention and our involvement in this fits perfectly with our agency’s mission.

4. What is the favorite part about working for Integral Care? 

Without a doubt, the best part of my job is the leadership in our department.  I have incredibly knowledgeable mentors who have entrusted me with building and leading this program and to know that they have that kind of confidence in me feels great.  Within our program, we have the flexibility to do what is best for our clients and are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box, which is energizing and inspiring for all of us in this work.

5. What is your proudest moment at Integral Care? 

I am most proud of the Healthy Community Collaborative (HCC) team that has been assembled and the amazing work they are doing in our community.  In less than two years, HCC has gone from only me to a team of 30 incredibly dedicated and passionate staff.  Last month, the team held a memorial service to honor clients who had passed away.  The level of support the team showed each other and the relationships that have developed among the staff was an incredibly bright moment during a somber occasion.

6. What is your favorite go-to snack?

Pizza Goldfish (has to be the pizza ones, and not the flavor blasted either)