By Victoria Stracke, CTI Case Manager
Language is powerful. We have the opportunity, especially as front line workers, to empower the people we work with. This begins with the words we use and the way we frame our sentences. As an example: Is someone homeless? Or are they experiencing homelessness? The first sentence is likely the more popular phrase, but places someone in a box. It allows homelessness to define an individual. The second phrase comes from a mindset that the person is just that, a person.
When we use person-centered language, we acknowledge the challenges someone is facing while still recognizing their humanity and individuality. Person-centered language is hopeful, instead of placing someone in the role of “victim. “Individuals identify less with their challenges or limitations, and instead see a path for change and growth.