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Workplace Safety

Violence in the workplace is a perennial challenge facing organizations who serve people experiencing homelessness. Health centers must attend to the safety of their staff and patients, while also taking into account that clients whose behavior may pose a security threat are usually highly traumatized people whom other providers may neglect. These resources address the important nuances of providing a safe and secure environment.


  • Promoting Safety in Street Outreach (2022) | Archived Webinar | This presentation identified best practices for ensuring the physical safety of both staff and clients in street/unsheltered outreach. 

  • One HCH Center’s Framework for a Safe and Health Environment (2018) | As part of our Spring Virtual Training, Jenny Metzler, Executive Director of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, shares how they reoriented their approach to safety through universal precaution and proactive engagement, which resulted in significant reducitons in first-responder calls.
  • Creating a Culture of Safety: A Guide for Health Centers (2017) | Responding to the findings of a recent survey conducted by NCAB, this resource provides recommendations for developing physical spaces that promote well-being, considerations for vulnerable populations, and strategies for providing staff support.
  • Workplace Violence: Prevention & Intervention Guidelines for Homeless Services Providers (2011) | Updated in 2011, this document provides examples of policies, procedures and protocols from six homeless health care projects with practical information for creating a safer environment for consumers and staff in Health Care for the Homeless Projects. It is an expanded and enhanced version of the 1996 document Sample Safety Guidelines in Homeless Health Services. The guidelines discuss measures for identifying risk factors for violence, roles in prevention and protection, responding to violent incidents, and safety practices for outreach workers.
  • Workplace Violence: What You Need to Know (2010) | We offer this Healing Hands issue to the cause of overcoming all violence, with deep gratitude for those who face danger every day, yet bravely and lovingly choose to continue to help their neighbors heal.
  • Safety in the Workplace (2005) | Clinicians from the homeless health care field respond to questions about safety in the workplace.


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