Insights from the street: Perceptions of services and providers by homeless young adults

Sanna J. Thompson, Holly McManus, Janet Lantry, Liliane Windsor, Patrick Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Homeless young adults characteristically have needs for health and social services, yet often fail to access and frequently underutilize available care. Upon entering homelessness, these young people are faced with a structural existence from which it is difficult to emerge-one often leading to entrenchment in street culture. To develop a better understanding and increase knowledge of barriers and factors that affect service utilization, focus groups were conducted with 60 participants recruited from a drop-in center for young adults who are homeless. Qualitative analyses found participants responded favorably to respectful, empathic, and pet friendly providers who were supportive and encouraging without disregarding their autonomy. Barriers to utilization included unsuitable and unsafe environments, and providers who were disrespectful, rigid, or had unrealistic expectations. Providers can assist these youth and young adults to move into developmentally-appropriate, stable living situations will likely prevent them from becoming part of the adult homeless population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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