Homeless Near a Thousand Homes: Outcomes of Homeless Youth in a Shelter

Carol Cornsweet Barber, Peter Fonagy, Jim Fultz, Mary Ann Simulinas and Miranda Yates

March 24, 2010

Clients who received crisis services at a homeless shelter for transition-aged youth were recruited for a study to understand more about the youth served, to track outcomes of care, and to examine factors associated with differing outcomes.  Participants were 202 men and women who completed a battery of interviews and self-report measures at intake and at 3 follow-up points. Youth served had experienced high levels of adversity and trauma and typically had poor educational and vocational preparation. A multidisciplinary array of services was provided, and overall, participants showed significant improvement from intake to discharge and in the 6 months after discharge. Background, service, and psychological factors did not predict housing outcomes. Better vocational outcomes were associated with more recent work experience.  Results point to the need for providers of services to the homeless to be aware of the distinct needs and characteristics of transition-aged youth.

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