Article

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

Menninger Clinic, Houston, TX, USA.
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.36). 08/2005; 75(3):347-55. DOI: 10.1037/0002-9432.75.3.347
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Clients who received crisis services at a homeless shelter for transition-aged youth were recruited for a study to describe 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 outcome was 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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    • "Other work has suggested the importance of self-concept in these transitions, specifically how youth identify with mainstream and street-focused contexts and cultures (Kidd & Davidson, 2007). Although not focused on transitions away from homelessness specifically, there are some longitudinal quantitative studies of homeless youth that have examined days housed in a given period of time—a variable that is relevant to the process of exiting homelessness (Barber et al., 2005; Slesnick, Kang, Bonomi, & Prestopnik, 2008, Slesnick , Bartle-Haring, Dashora, Kang, & Aukward, 2008; Milburn et al., 2009; Rosenthal et al., 2007; Tevendale, Comulada, & Lightfoot, 2011; Roy et al. 2004). While the methods and findings of these studies vary considerably, there are some consistent themes. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the process of establishing post homeless lives among 51 recently homeless youth in two major urban centers in Canada. A mixed methods strategy was employed to characterize this process. Quantitatively, a range of mental health, community integration, and quality of life measures were employed four times over the course of 1 year to describe how these indicators of wellbeing shifted in this period. It was found that over the course of 1 year gains were not made in community integration, quality of life and mental health were highly variable, and hope declined significantly. Further, it was found that youth in supported housing arrangements experienced better mental health and community integration. Qualitatively, we identified three major stages in the process of exiting homelessness. These stages included a period of substantial fluctuation and instability, a period of gaining a basic level of stability but being demoralized due to difficulties making progress with life goals, and a period of making some gains with life goals which cultivated a sense of hope. Progress across these stages, which took place in a timeframe considerably longer than 1 year, was characterized by a range of setbacks, individual and systemic challenges, and trauma which were addressed through a persistent effort facilitated by youth resilience and key supports.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
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    • "Family reunification is a primary goal of runaway shelters, and shelter staff often include the family within their intervention plan, however, most intervention provided by shelter staff is individually-focused (Barber et al. 2005). Whether family systems therapy, compared to viable individual therapy models, is associated with better short and long-term outcomes for internalizing and externalizing problems among substance abusing runaways was of interest in the current study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Shelter-recruited adolescents are known to have high rates of substance abuse and co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors. Many studies have documented these mental health concerns, but only a small number of studies have tested interventions that may be useful for ameliorating these vulnerabilities. The current study compared three empirically supported psychotherapy interventions, Motivational Interviewing (MI), the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), and Ecologically-Based Family Therapy (EBFT) with 179 substance abusing runaway adolescents (47 % female, 74 % minority) and their primary caretaker recruited through a Midwestern runaway crisis shelter. Examining both child and primary caretaker reports, each treatment was associated with significant reductions in internalizing and externalizing behaviors to 24 months post-baseline. However, the trajectory of change differed among the treatments. Adolescents receiving MI showed a quicker reduction in internalizing and externalizing behaviors but also a quicker increase in these behaviors compared to adolescents receiving EBFT, who continued to evidence improvements to 24 months. The findings provide support for continued evaluation of these treatments for use with this vulnerable population of adolescents.
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