Sanctuary Certified

sanctuaryThe Sanctuary Model is both an organizational change and a treatment intervention model that   provides a blueprint for creating a culture that helps people heal from the experiences that have hurt them.  The primary goal of Sanctuary is to promote safety.

The Crisis Shelter began its journey to implement the Sanctuary Model in February 2011 when 7 staff members attended a 5 day training, learning about the Model, the impact of trauma on clients and the staff members who provide critical services in our community every day as well as how to implement the Model within our agency.  Over the next 4 years the Crisis Shelter trained staff members, volunteers and other community stakeholders in the basic tenants of the Model and the agency examined its policies and practices ranging from client intake processes to managing staff wellness and began to create a culture where individuals can feel safe and heal from the damaging effects of trauma, chronic stress and adversity.  In January 2015 the Crisis Shelter received a 3 year certification in the Sanctuary Model.  The agency continues to practice the Model and implement new and innovative ways to address and lessen the effects of trauma and looks forward to recertification in 2018.

Basic Beliefs of the Model:

The Sanctuary Model is based on two very basic assumptions about human beings.

  • The recognition that adversity is an inherent part of human experience, and that these experiences shape the way that people behave.
  • The premise that appreciating the effects of these experiences means changing the question that we ask about the people we serve and those with whom we work. It’s not about “what’s wrong with you,” but rather “what’s happened to you?”

Sanctuary creates a “shared language” which helps us to address the ways in which trauma, adversity and chronic stress influence individual behavior as well as recognize the ways in which whole         organizations can be influenced.  The “shared language” includes:

  • Trauma Theory
  • E.L.F.
  • The Seven Sanctuary Commitments
  • The Sanctuary Toolbox

Why We Do This:

The Sanctuary Model operates with the assumption that trauma is a universal experience.

The Adverse Childhood Experience study conducted by Drs. Felitti and Anda as a collaborative effort of Kaiser Permanente and The Centers for Disease Control demonstrates that not only is exposure to childhood adversity widespread (2/3 of their participants indicated early childhood exposure) but it is also connected to poor health outcomes in adulthood.

Because we know so many people have been exposed to trauma, we can also assume that some people’s experience related to that exposure are causing difficulty in achieving a comfortable quality of life.

“Then, after a few days when I started to get used to my new home, staff members offered me services and took me around town. They helped me do things such as file a PFA – a protection from abuse order, sign up for welfare and child support and even obtain a lawyer.”