Trauma-Informed Care in Homelessness Service Settings: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Cassandra BransfordEmail author
  • Michael Cole


Homelessness continues to be a pervasive problem nationally and internationally. In the USA, the National Law Center on Poverty and Homelessness has estimated the annual number of homeless individuals to be in the range of 9.9–10.9 million sheltered and unsheltered persons, including those who have moved in with others due to financial hardship. Many of these persons suffer from severe mental illness or chronic substance abuse disorders. Additionally, many homeless persons have trauma histories, including abuse, neglect, and family and community violence. Many more have also experienced the traumatic effects of homelessness itself, including violence, revictimization, stigma, hunger, poor health, and other negative outcomes. To address the ongoing effects of traumatic stress, homelessness service settings are implementing trauma-informed care (TIC). This chapter will review the tenets of TIC and examine the personal and organizational barriers that may impede its successful implementation. Strategies for overcoming these barriers will also be highlighted.


Homelessness Trauma-informed care Organizational development Secondary stress Trauma Veterans Domestic violence Child sexual abuse Rap groups Consciousness raising groups Neurobiology Traumatic stress Trauma-specific services Trauma awareness Vicarious trauma Compassion fatigue Post-traumatic growth Vicarious resilience Secondary stress Organizational discourse Re-traumatization Attachment Regulation Competency (arc) framework Cultural competency Client-centered care Street youth Trauma-informed education Communities of care Spec model 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Binghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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