In a Safe Environment

Aug 8, 2023

This month concludes our walk through RITI’s Core Values.

A few things we’ve learned about creating a “safe environment” for and with people experiencing homelessness…

  • Boundaries matter – We cannot always say, “Yes.” Establishing and sticking to set boundaries helps everyone know what to expect. There is no special treatment and no harsher consequence – everyone has the same boundaries.
  • There’s always room for a second chance. It’s easier to feel safe when we know that a mistake (or an angry moment or a bad day) won’t cost us everything.
  • Safety is not just physical – locked doors and good lighting. Many of us carry trauma that keeps us in a constant state of feeling unsafe and insecure around others.
  • Being a calm presence and creating spaces with relaxing colors, sounds, furniture and touches of comfort helps bring a sense of peace in the midst of the chaos of the everyday.
  • Being consistent and taking time to listen builds trust. Seeing the same staff and volunteers who have taken time to learn names and share stories means you don’t feel the need to explain the same things over and over. You are known and welcomed.

Offering hospitality is impossible without creating a safe environment.

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