Impact of the At Home Within Program

Impact of the At Home Within Program

COTS BuildingCommittee on the Shelterless (COTS)

In a nutshell, what we found was that while residents of the shelter improved their well-being just by being a part of the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) environment, when they participated in the At Home Within program—for only 90 minutes a week for 4-8 weeks—they improved twice as much! A manuscript reporting the results of our research is in preparation and is available upon request. Please send your request to

The program has been ongoing for over five years, and the results have been tremendous! COTS was so impressed that they have now created a Center for Post-Trauma Wellness that offers these kinds of mind-body-spirit practices to their residents and to the local community as an essential, integrated part of their services.

In addition, some of the teachers who volunteered to provide the classes to the residents were so inspired by the experience that they used it as a training site for new teachers and created their own specific programs for homeless shelters.

Richard Miller Richard Miller, PhD

For example, iRest, a program developed by Richard Miller, PhD, based on the principles of the wisdom tradition of Yoga Nidra, tested their program with us, and found that it was so valuable that they have now duplicated it for other homeless shelters across the country, active duty military and veterans, and others.

IRI logo

The resulting guide for facilitating iRest in homeless shelters and other social service settings is available for qualified individuals. See sample chapters of the Student Manual and the Instructor’s Manual, and contact the Integrative Restoration Institute for more information and training.

A Step-By-Step Guide For You

If you would like to incorporate a program like At Home Within into your local homeless shelter or other social service agency, IONS is now offering a free instruction manual. Learn More »

Research on 'At Home Within'

Read a dissertation on the At Home Within program by former IONS intern Priya Bhogaonker: IMPACT OF BRIEF MEDITATION TRAINING ON STRESS, DISTRESS, AND QUALITY OF LIFE FOR HOMELESS ADULTS
Click here to download a copy »

Participant Experiences

“Participating in the Mindful Meditation class has been an amazing experience. Coming into the group I was scattered, unfocused, quick to get angry, and I had succumbed to horrible stress. I had difficulty falling asleep without some kind of noise in the background, because my mind would race uncontrollably, and I would end up having nightmares on many occasions. This is just the “tip of the iceberg” to the way my body, mind and spirit were completely out of sync with one another.

Now, since taking this class, my life is completely different. I face difficult and stressful situations with a calm I’ve never had before. I don’t burst into tears, I don’t snap at people and I actually get through the day feeling hopeful, energetic and focused.

I use the meditation CD before I sleep, resulting in a deep, restful sleep with no nightmares. The physical benefits are awesome as well, i.e. no headaches, no more restless-leg syndrome, and an increased level of energy.

Thank you for bringing this class to COTS and thank you for allowing me to participate.” —YS

“The Somatic Experiencing has been transforming beyond what can be expressed in a few words. The value of what I am walking away with has no price tag – it is beyond monetary value. Thank you so much for this opportunity to heal my soul.” —FF