SAFE’s shelter provides safety for unhoused survivors

Written by SAFE

Olivia* had been struggling with homelessness and found herself living in a tent downtown. Unfortunately, being in this environment put her in a position in which her safety was compromised. Olivia was assaulted by two strangers and she fled the scene. She was able to find safety at our shelter.

A safety plan was completed upon shelter intake. She was not worried she will run into these specific individuals again, but she did worry about the people she interacts within the community posing a threat to her. Olivia was also concerned about her own health. However, she was able to get connected with her advocate who supported her in setting her goals, thus a strong collaboration began. She began counseling services with our on-site counselor. She also received income from SSI but needed support applying for SNAP benefits. Her advocate was able to successfully set up an interview for her and her SNAP benefits were granted, which she was very excited about.

When Olivia first entered the shelter, she showed a bit of resistance and distrust towards her advocate which is understandable as she was in a vulnerable state having gone through what she had. Fortunately, with patience and support, she and her advocate were able to develop a very positive relationship which was great reason for celebration. Olivia and her advocate had regularly scheduled meetings to provide her with any support she was needing, and she finally began to regain in trust in our agency and staff. Olivia eventually exited into another shelter program and continued to work towards her self-sufficiency plan.

*Names were changed to protect identity