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    Traumatic Stress and Homelessness: A Review of the Literature for Practitioners

    Clinical Social Work Journal

    Year: 2021

    A growing body of evidence connects traumatic stress and homelessness, which illustrates the importance of trauma and-resiliency-informed care (TIC) to appropriately serve persons experiencing homelessness (PEH). This paper reviews the literature on traumatic stress, including the biology of trauma as well as psychosocial, environmental, and systemic factors. These areas of knowledge constitute necessary elements when designing systems of care for PEH in order to provide effective services, avoid re-traumatization, and create healing environments to foster resilience. The authors identify trauma-specific evidence-based therapies, and comprehensive programmatic approaches that stem from established trauma-informed core values. Practical applications of the reviewed literature are utilized to demonstrate how organizations can adopt a trauma and resiliency-informed approach, based on both the reviewed literature as well as the authors’ collective clinical experience. A key takeaway is an emerging consensus that service providers must consider trauma when designing and offering services to persons with a history of homelessness. The authors offer recommendations for future pathways to create outcome measurement tools for social service providers based on the theory of self-efficacy and using concrete, quantifiable variables.

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