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The Sanderson apartments for formerly homeless residents. Photo by Andy Cross / The Denver Post / Getty Images

Safe Place

How thoughtful facility design benefits Denver’s formerly homeless residents.

You might mistake the five-month-old Sanderson Apartments in southwest neighborhood Mar Lee for any of the new residential complexes around town. But every aspect of the building—the Mental Health Center of Denver’s newest permanent supportive housing—makes the residents, who are chronically homeless people with histories of behavioral health issues and trauma, feel safe. The approach is called trauma-informed design; the three following strategies show how it works.

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