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Healthy Interactions

Creating Sanctuary

The Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence is a therapeutic community; where the power of the group creates healthy norms, healthy interactions, and subsequently, a positive sense of well being for all. The community is one with zero tolerance for violence, freeing the members to focus on movement towards the achievement of goals, emotional stability, and the ultimate aspiration of self-sufficiency.

According to developer Sandra Bloom, Ph.D. “The Sanctuary Model represents a trauma-informed method for creating or changing an organizational culture in order to more effectively provide a cohesive context within which healing from psychological and social traumatic experience can be addressed.”

The implementation of the Sanctuary Model at the Red Shield includes psycho-educational training on the impact of trauma for all staff and residents on an ongoing basis. Through this training a framework and mutual language, for understanding and managing difficult emotions, and issues, is established and shared among the entire community.

Safety, one of the primary goals of the model, relates to the creation of a non-violent environment. Community meetings are held twice weekly and may be called if an incident occurs in the facility. During these meetings residents identify themselves as a community separate from the street. The community meeting is where social norms are established, conflicts are managed, successes are celebrated, hardships are recognized, and information is shared.

Those who have suffered trauma tend to live in an emotional space of hyper arousal. The smallest slight can be perceived as the largest of threats. The management of emotions is essential to the healing process and a goal of the model. Each resident and staff member of the shelter develops a safety plan outlining the steps they need to take before they act out with aggression or violence. At all levels of interventions with residents and staff, reference is made to the individual's safety plan and the management of emotions.

Developing a future orientation is the final goal of the model. Planning for the future and the eventual move out of the shelter starts upon entry to the facility. Case mangers start gathering data and helping residents identify their goals from the first session; housing applications are completed by week three. Case managers work in conjunction with other community based service providers, to assist the resident to make smooth transitions; into and out of the facility.
The Sanctuary Model provides a framework and mutual language to understand, discuss, and manage difficult issues and emotions. Residents share the language and the concepts to create a more democratic environment where all are heard, supported, encouraged and cared for. A peaceful, non-violent environment is a healing environment, an empowering environment.

Art Therapy, Art as Therapy

Approaching conflicts, traumas, and stressors through metaphors created in art making is effective in the healing process. Traumatic memories are known to be stored in images, making art therapy a useful tool to access memories and facilitate communication necessary to heal. Family therapy addresses contextual and intergenerational issues that impact families. Symptoms and behaviors within individuals are not looked at in isolation, but as part of a greater system, extending to family, community, and even the larger cultural, racial, and historical systems from which people evolve. Social work and family therapy interns from local universities are on site day and night to provide these supportive services to our residents.

How to Reach Us!
For more information, please call 215-787-2887 or visit us at:
The Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence | 715 North Broad Street, Philadelphia 19123