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Intervention and Support Services 





The Hozho Center for Personal Enhancement

The Hozho Center for Personal Enhancement is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, formed in 2008 to advocate, educate and promote the best way to serve the unmet needs of individuals with mental health and homelessness on the streets of Gallup and McKinley County. 


The Hozho Center office is located at 216 West Maloney Avenue in Gallup, New Mexico. 


The goal of this project is to improve services to veterans and their families by providing outreach and necessary services to veterans and their families by creating a website and expand out outreach capabilities to chapter houses and Hozho Center recovery support groups and mindfulness-based stress reduction training programs designed to promote relaxation and biofeedback to improve veterans and their families wellbeing.  


This training process will create an individualized and structured support for our collaborative community service efforts to assist veterans and their families.  


Gallup is recognized as the Most Patriotic Small Town in America. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Native Americans enlist at a higher rate than any minority group in America - 18.6 percent vs 14.0 percent respectively.  Gallup has a higher rate of Native American veterans than many other locations in New Mexico and why supporting our veterans is so important to their wellbeing. 

Hozho Center for Personal Enhancement has taken a leadership position about educating the courts, people with substance abuse, suicide prevention and veterans and their families about the role stress plays in triggering the limbic system fight, flight or freeze response and reward center to take over.  

The Hozho Center for Personal Enhancement will create and annual Veterans and Their Families Conference where local veterans can come together and participate with other veterans to participate in developing workshops and programs to connect and share their experiences with mind mapping, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, mind body therapies, meditation, drug and alcohol treatment, success stories and peer support.

The Hozho Center will also develop a website with a Veterans and Family page specifically designed for veterans and their families to communicate and stay educated on the most up to date information on neuroscience so they are informed and can participate in the latest breakthroughs about mind mapping, mindfulness, meditation, spiritual and traditional healing.   

Ken Collins, Executive Director, at Hozho Center, has conducted brain injury trauma stress addiction awareness groups within the City of Gallup for three years.   These groups at NCI Detox, McKinley County Adult Detention Center, RMCHCS Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Navajo Nation Suicide Prevention Program and Southwest Conference on Disability have done groundbreaking research about the survival instincts that impact veterans and their families who being recycled through the courts, NCI Detox and the McKinley County Adult Detention Center because of the chronic fight or flight response they are being driven by.    

The fight or flight response is an instinctual and physical reaction to a threat, loss, shame, humiliation, blame, embarrassment, worry or other negative emotions.  These survival instincts were very important in ancient times since attacks from wild animals or other humans could be sudden and deadly.  The fight or flight reaction causes very powerful stress hormones to be released into the body causing intense changes to the physiology and chemistry. At one time it was essential for the body’s survival but not today and the consequences of these survival instincts and reward center causes many of the problems veterans and their families face today i.e. domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness and jail.  

Because homeless veterans on the streets aren’t eating nutritious food, sleeping enough and drinking too much they are in Chronic Fight or Flight.  The consequences of this lifestyle keep the limbic system in control and their ability to break the cycle of alcohol/substance abuse, homelessness and suicide prevention impossible.   

Hozho Center for Personal Enhancement will utilize the latest neuroscience research on mindfulness-based stress reduction, mind mapping and combine this with traditional Native American Ceremonies to educate and support veterans and their families in McKinley County, Twin Lakes Chapter House, and Eastern Agency of the Navajo Agency.   The Hozho website will help these veterans and their families to get the most up to date information and connect with each other to cut down on the depression and suicidal ideation that comes with isolation.  When appropriate the Hozho Center will refer veterans and their families to the VA and local mental health providers for services and counseling.

About: Learn More

Meet Ken Collins

What started out as a four bedroom drop-in center in 2008 has become a safe haven and a place where hope is plentiful for over 1800 people served monthly.

What’s the secret that keeps Hozho Center for Personal Enhancement growing and thriving? It’s the mojo. It’s the thinking out of the box. It’s making sure the guests at Hozho feel like they are coming home. It’s staying connected with guests by inviting them to volunteer to keep the Hozho mojo alive.

Hozho is both a noun and a verb. It’s a place and a way of life. It’s a sanctuary, a space to regroup and get some strength to keep up. It’s being there for others in the circle of life and recognizing the sacred in all. It’s serving each other to live in harmony and balance.

Hozho Board Member, Virgil Gatewood, says that when we create an environment of choice and opportunity it reduces fear. Virgil is a “circle keeper”. Trained in architecture and engineering he uses the tools from his industry. “We work so well in the circle. We cross pollinate different professions and learn experientially through peership and most importantly, we treat recovery as a discovery, not a destination.” 

All staff at Hozho are CPSWs, sharing their lived experienece. This element is critical in gaining trust with the people that come to Hozho for hozho. CPSWs are the frontline.

Ken Collins, the Hozho Center Executive Director and a CPSW, brings his wisdom from the lived experience of having a brain injury. “I want to help make people be more aware that many folks coming here have brain injuries and it makes everything harder. It’s invisible and we only see the consequences. Learning how the brain works breaks down the lies people are told and the barriers.”  Ken says that he is starting to see more hope as people are beginning to get the treatment they need.

The Hozho Center offers counseling, food, AA and NA meetings, recovery circles, sweat lodges, and support group healing circles where people can grow and have the ability to take a break. They use the circle as a powerful tool and as a bridge and a way to connect people. Ken, Virgil and the CPSWs are also doing outreach and going to the chapter houses and inviting family members to be part of the program to reduce shame. We play the frontier model and take our services to the door step of our community to meet people where they are at.

Ken shares that “people come out of curiosity and they feel happy here. It’s a safe place where people can relax and feel joy and playfulness. They come in and do artwork and there is a comfort that people can be themselves and express their feelings. When people tap into their creativity it helps their recovery. This discovery is the circle - it goes round and round and it’s a big part of the mojo —  the circle of energy”.

****This just in! Hozho just got news from State Representative Wanda Johnson who confirmed that Hozho will be receiving the $50,000 she appropriated for the valuable work being done by the program. There will be a ceremony and a news conference. Congrats Ken Collins and the team at Hozho!   

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