Healing Starts at Home: Reimagining Permanent Supportive Housing for Trauma Survivors

Despite previous research showing that more than one-third (38%) of domestic violence survivors experience homelessness at some point in their lives, there has remained a dearth of public guidance on housing solutions that meet their specific needs.

To remedy this gap, the Downtown Women’s Center and the Safe Housing Alliance partnered to develop a Toolkit and accompanying trainings as best-practice resources for housing developers, property managers, and service providers involved in building and operating Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for survivors of domestic violence (DV). 


Creating Permanent Supportive Housing to Meet the Needs of Survivors of Domestic Violence:
A Toolkit for Housing Developers, Architects, Property Managers, and Housing Service Providers

This Toolkit was made possible thanks to the expertise and insight of community partners and survivors of domestic violence and homelessness. Financial support was provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Blue Shield of California Foundation.

View Toolkit

Toolkit Training

Explore training materials that cover an overview of the Toolkit and its history, along with a deep dive into several of its topics.


Toolkit Overview

Intersectionality and
Racial Equity for Survivors in
Permanent Supportive Housing

Legal Housing Protections and Property Management Models for Survivors in Permanent Supportive Housing

Trauma Informed Care in Architecture and Operations Design for Permanent Supportive Housing

Toolkit Overview

To kick off the Toolkit’s launch, the Downtown Women’s Center and the Safe Housing Alliance hosted a special panel discussion of key trends and needs in the field.

The program includes an overview of key insights from the Toolkit on pathways for developing more inclusive, trauma-informed housing programs that advance survivor healing and empowerment, based on the perspectives of housing developers, architects, property managers, service providers, and survivors across the country.


Intersectionality and Racial Equity for Survivors in Permanent Supportive Housing

Historical socioeconomic disparities along race, gender, and class lines contribute to the unique barriers some communities face in accessing services and achieving personal stability and improved economic status. The disparate rates at which underrepresented groups and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) experience crime, violence, incarceration, non-communicable disease, un/underemployment, housing insecurity, and homelessness are also increasingly understood within the nexus of systemic dispossession. To build and run effective PSH for survivors of domestic violence (DV), operators must be aware of and actively incorporate knowledge of such dynamics into their service provision approach.

This training offers key recommendations for doing so. It draws heavily on the frameworks of intersectionality, anti-racism, and cultural humility, each of which are integral to the trauma-informed approaches to service provision. Gain insight into research about systemic anti-Black inequities in LA’s PSH and initiatives in PSH being developed to improve the outcomes for BIPOC residents.

Trauma Informed Care in Architecture and Operations Design for Permanent Supportive Housing

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) that effectively incorporates trauma-informed design and safety elements into its physical layout and operations can promote and increase healing for survivors of domestic violence. Learn about best practice guidance on architectural design in PSH spaces that address the unique barriers and needs survivors face in achieving housing and personal stability. This panel features models of how to ensure resident voice is central to the physical design and operations of low-income housing to create trauma-informed community. Panelists both discuss and model techniques for reimagining housing that are grounded in creativity, equity, and resilience.

If you are in danger, please call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224. Avoid using a computer that could be accessed by a person who may cause harm, and learn more technology safety tips.

Please note that the Safe Housing Alliance is not a direct service provider and does not provide individual counseling, crisis response, housing advocacy, or legal services. We have compiled a brief list of resources for survivors here.