Press Releases

Hastings Hosts Congressional Briefing on Women and Trauma Informed Care for the Homeless

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Washington, D.C., July 29, 2015 | comments

Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Homelessness Caucus, hosted a briefing with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and the National Coalition of the Homeless.  The briefing addressed the importance of providing unhoused families with support to address trauma and how trauma-informed care can be an effective model in helping families heal, while combating homelessness. Hastings made the following statement at the briefing: 

“Homelessness is an epidemic that I am committed to fighting.  There are so many facets to homelessness. For those who have experienced trauma, either as a cause of or result of their being homeless, the need for receiving trauma informed care is critical.

“Ninety three percent of mothers who experience homelessness have a history of trauma, including physical and sexual abuse.  This trauma has impacted their housing stability, not to mention their children, who often struggle with physical, emotional, and developmental issues. 

“There is such a strong correlation between experienced trauma and the housing instability of families in need.  As a result of this correlation, trauma informed care serves are an effective model that emphasizes understanding, support, and healthy recovery.  These specialized practices should be utilized by homelessness and housing programs to provide an environment that supports a pathway to healing and stability.”

Panelists at the briefing included: Cheryl Sharp, Senior Advisor for Trauma-Informed Services at the National Council for Behavioral Health; Barbara Anderson, Executive Director of Haven House Services in Indiana; Leah Harris, Trauma Informed Care Specialist with the National Association for State Mental Health Program Directors; Dr. Jennifer Perlman, Coordinator of Trauma Informed Care at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; and Dr. Carmela DeCandia, Director of Child and Family Initiatives in Massachusetts.   

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

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Tags: Housing