Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Without interventions to address homelessness among youth, the risk of homelessness for future generations is great. As a result, the federal government has invested in funding Transitional Living Programs (TLPs), though it is not clear whether these programs have achieved the intended outcomes of helping youth transition from homelessness to being able to sustain employment and avoid poverty through access to educational and workforce programs. Using the broad conceptualization of democratic governance as the foundation, the purpose of this case study was to assess whether access to educational programs through TLPs benefitted homeless youth in terms of program success. Data for this study were collected through interviews with 9 administrators of TLP service providers and publicly available documents for the years 2008-2014. Interview data were inductively coded and subjected to thematic analysis, and data from public sources were evaluated using descriptive statistics. Qualitative analysis revealed that long term, post-TLP outcomes were difficult to track as individual TLPs tended to lose contact with youth, though self-advocacy for participants, coupled with the ability to sustain long term independence, were keys to success for program participants. Participants also noted their perception that education through TLPs provide opportunity for stable social and economic connections. Positive social change resulting from this study may be attained if TLP long-term outcomes are evaluated using metrics that are realistic for the target population, and organizational goals are refocused on improving opportunities for youth to make meaningful contributions to their communities, and thereby build the social equity necessary for long-term success.