Title

The Sheltered Home Lived Experiences of the Homeless Persons

Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Tracey Phillips

Abstract

Homelessness has been a problem in the United States as early as the 1700s and kinship care networks provided emergency shelters and assistance to victims, neighbors, and family members. Previous studies on homelessness have focused primarily on the causes and effects of the phenomenon or on people who were not able to work due to mental or physical disabilities. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore and understand the lived experiences of 24-55 year old homeless individuals who are able to work but who used homeless shelters in Charlotte, North Carolina, thus helping fill a gap in the literature. The theoretical foundation of the study was functionalism. Snowball sampling was used to find five participants and data were collected using semi-structured interviews based on Rubin and Rubin's approach to interviewing. Data were analyzed using Sada's multiple stage process based on Husserl. All participants experienced worry, boredom, hopelessness, and fear of other residents. Participants also unanimously said shelters cannot be considered long-term homes. Knowledge of these experiences could enable shelter providers to develop programs and services aimed at helping residents feel safer and able to stay for longer periods of time when needed as well as ways to reduce worry, boredom, and hopelessness. This would help promote positive social change by giving residents the ability to take more advantage of counseling and job training programs for those who want to find ways to get out of the condition of homelessness.

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