Trauma

Understand the linkages between trauma and homelessness, including sexual, psychological, or physical abuse.

Homelessness is traumatic. People experiencing homelessness often live with a multitude of personal challenges, such as the sudden loss of a home or adjusting to conditions of shelter life. Some people, particularly women, may have histories of trauma, including sexual, psychological, or physical abuse. Most families who are experiencing homelessness are headed by single women, and these women experience posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use at a rate higher than the national average.

Within the larger society, people experiencing homelessness often are marginalized, isolated, and discriminated against. Additionally, they are highly vulnerable to violence and victimization, and re-traumatization becomes a distinct possibility. Given these concerns, it is important to understand the linkages between trauma and homelessness, and the impact on ensuring quality care.

For more information:

Learn more about trauma and violence and the impact to society as a mental health and substance use concern. Access SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint (NCTIC) for information on trauma-informed care.

Access more mental and substance use disorders and homelessness resources or search SAMHSA’s store.

Last Updated: 03/13/2019