Homeless women teach how to acknowledge trauma

Nominated 2022

Country: Czech Republic

Region: Capital Prague

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Gender equality, Mental health, Homelessness

Project owner: Jako doma - Homelike, o.p.s.

Responsible person: Olga Pek

Website: Weblink


Nearly 85% of people, especially women, living without a home suffer from complex trauma. When left untreated, trauma disrupts one’s psychological and physiological health. It can also lead to a constant sense of threat, alcohol and drug abuse. When trauma is not acknowledged, organisations and authorities treat traumatised people as uncooperative, which excludes and can potentially re-traumatise them. 


Our project introduces the psychologically informed environments (PIE) approach to Czech social work. PIE-based services improve the care and needs of people without a home. We offer training for NGOs and institutions to help them address complex trauma faced by people in social need. 


Women without a home serve as experts and sources of change. Our PIE training programme is co-created and taught by a team of 6 lecturers, 5 of whom are women who are or were living without a home and also serve as peer workers. 


We started the project by adapting the services of our community centre for women without a home based on PIE principles. Our organisation also trained the Czech Salvation Army team. We will also conduct 8-10 trainings for the public employment services and social service departments of various districts of the city of Prague. These trauma-informed training programmes may also help other marginalised communities.


We believe the PIE approach is eminently adaptable, transferrable to other places and scalable. Our programme and the PIE approach are centred on the community’s needs. Achieving truly systematic change also requires follow-up advocacy and legislative work. We’re happy to connect and share our experiences with other organisations.