top of page


Why does addressing trauma through built environment design matter?

SAMHSA describes the importance of trauma informed design as the following: 

“Trauma informed design is important because it may help lower the elevated levels of a person’s emotional stress or tension that they are feeling. Lowering these levels provides a heightened opportunity for those that have experienced trauma to successfully move forward with their lives. Trauma-informed environments can increase levels of safety for clients and staff in that it may reduce the incidence and frequency of coping behaviors such as emotional outbursts. Such environments may also reduce the likelihood of re-traumatization. Through trauma informed design’s adherence to the principles of trauma informed care, architectural projects may help improve outcomes regarding mental health and substance abuse behaviors."

Sad Depressed Teen Girl sitting Alone and Depressed on the windowsill. Unhappy teenager is


Physical environment affects an individual’s sense of identity, worth, dignity and empowerment.

Physical environment has an impact on attitude, mood and behavior. There is a strong correlation between people's physiological and emotional state and the physical environment they are experiencing.

Through its supportive design for people experiencing trauma, built environments can help people resist re-traumatization.

Girl in a City


Exciting shifts are in development to provide a trauma-informed design for every guest of Topeka Rescue Mission. We desire to provide space for every person to come and find rest from the hardships of life they are experiencing. By incorporating trauma-informed design we expect to see lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our guests during their stay.

Men’s Shelter Updates: Our first environmental shift in the men’s shelter is to create an open space for the guests to have a safe place to rest and commune with one another. We are achieving this goal by incorporating trauma-informed paint colors, sustainable and comfortable seating, elements of art and nature.

Hope Center Updates: Our first environmental shift in the women and family shelter is to renovate the bedrooms to become trauma informed. We are achieving this goal by incorporating trauma-informed paint colors, new bedding, sustainable and comfortable furniture, and elements of art and nature.

If you are interested in supporting us as we continue to create these trauma-informed spaces for our guests, please use the Give Now button below and select "Environmental Updates" for your donations!  ​

bottom of page