Since its founding nearly three decades ago, SELF has led the way in developing effective programming for Philadelphia’s homeless. We continue to identify innovative solutions to end homelessness and improve the delivery of services within the city’s emergency shelter system.

Person Centered/Trauma Informed Care

The National Coalition for the Homeless describes Trauma Informed Care (TIC) as an overarching structure and treatment attitude that emphasizes understanding, compassion, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma Informed Care takes into account physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both clients and providers, and provides tools to empower individuals on the pathway to stability.


Similarly, SAMHSA’s indicates, “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed:

  • Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;

  • Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;

  • Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and

  • Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization."


At SELF, we use a trauma-informed approach that is respectful, dignified, safe, and relies on participant choice and active participation is honored and utilized. In addition:


  • Following the participant’s lead, the individual needs of the participant are identified in collaboration with the SELF case manager and then it is determined how best to provide assistance through coordination of internal and external program services and community resources.

  • The SELF team works with the participant to meet their basic needs in a coordinated manner, remembering that we have the tools, but the participant holds the plan.

  • A partnership exists between the participant and SELF as demonstrated through direct participant involvement in all aspects of their individual housing plan and case management planning decisions.


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1211 Chestnut Street Suite 205 Philadelphia, PA 19107