Date of Conferral
Homelessness continues to be a major and a comprehensive issue facing the United States, and it is a broad concern when it affects young adults. Research on the way individuals who are homeless perceive shelters, transitional programs, and housing program in general has been limited. Transitional living programs deliver critically needed temporary services for vulnerable and disadvantaged populations and provide them with the skills and the experiences needed to become independent. The study used a phenomenological design to explore the experiences of young homeless adults who are using transitional housing. The findings of this study may help young adults to advocate for changes that could break their cycle of homelessness. Face-to-face, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 young adults to explore their lived experience of being homeless and using transitional housing program. Ecological theory was used to provide a framework and guide the data interpretation. Data collection continued until data saturation was attained. Moustakas's phenomenological steps were used to analyze and identify core themes and depictions of the lived experiences of these young homeless adults. The findings of this study indicated that services provided by shelters for the homeless and staff attitudes and delivery of services were not always aligned with the needs of those entering shelters, which resulted in shorter stays at the shelters. This study may contribute to positive social change by allowing housing providers to work with young adults to identify better means of providing appropriate services and open pathways from the streets into transitional housing programs.