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Shelters have evolved from soup kitchens to first responders

9 0 1
02.04.2019

Working the front lines with vulnerable people is not an easy profession

A new study confirms with startling numbers what those of us who work with society’s most vulnerable have long known. Witnessing trauma — and sometimes being at the receiving end of abuse — can leave psychological scars.

Reflecting on the recent study by Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff and Annette M. Lane that found that one-third of front-line workers in homeless shelters experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder has made me examine what we can do better as an agency working in this sector to support our staff.

We currently provide all staff free access to a trauma counsellor, have a certified trainer in psychological health and safety, continually develop training programs to fill the gaps and attend other training programs provided by community partners and other agencies. This all takes time and resources.

Not long ago, serving the homeless was about providing food, warmth,........

© Calgary Herald