The Shelf-Life of Trauma

Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on May 14, 2024

In this Spotlight Exclusive in collaboration with The Assembly, Joyce Nash writes about the use of homeless services and food banks to also provide trauma recovery services. In China Grove, N.C., a former food bank on South Main Street has transformed into a space for community gatherings and discussions aimed at addressing the root causes of poverty, marking a departure from traditional emergency food assistance. Now known as the Main Street Marketplace and Meeting Place, this establishment offers workshops on poverty and trauma-informed care. Hope Oliphant, the executive director, led the transformation in response to the realization that emergency food aid wasn’t solving long-term issues. Oliphant recognized the importance of addressing trauma to enact lasting change once she “realized she was seeing the same people in line for assistance month after month,” she told Nash.

While some charitable organizations withdrew support due to the Marketplace’s shift towards selling food instead of giving it away, community members have reported positive experiences with the new approach, highlighting the need for services that don’t exacerbate feelings of belittlement among those seeking assistance. Despite challenges in measuring success, organizers remain hopeful that data from collaborative programs will validate the efficacy of trauma-informed care and sway donors towards supporting initiatives with tangible positive outcomes.

Read more.

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.