Research Report

Trauma-Informed Community Building and Engagement

Residents in public housing and other low-income or marginalized communities live with the daily stressors of violence and concentrated poverty, which stem from historic and structural conditions of racism, disenfranchisement, and isolation. Part of this trauma is the result of an extensive history of broken promises made by those intervening in marginalized communities. It is essential for community-building and engagement efforts to be realistic and transparent about new opportunities and to be truthful about what they are offering. This requires stakeholders to acknowledge these community-level traumas. Collaboration that addresses these traumas and offers opportunities for healing can generate viable and sustainable community change through improved policies, programs, and institutional practices. This document is a guide for those seeking innovative, effective, and responsible approaches to supporting residents of low-income housing communities.