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A framework for successful transitional programs for homeless women with children: Education, employment training, and support services

Judy Kay Flohr, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Purpose of the study. The main purpose of this study was to develop a transitional program framework that can assist homeless women with children to become self-sufficient. In order to create this framework, this study identified nine program areas containing a total of 58 components and four program outcome categories. The three goals of this study were to (a) identify, characterize, and analyze the current transitional programs for homeless women with children; (b) determine the current program areas and components, perceived component importance, and program outcomes; and (c) determine which program demographics, program areas, and components are related to successful program outcomes and important in effective transitional programs. Methodology. A descriptive research methodology was used for data collection. A survey questionnaire was sent to program directors of transitional shelter/housing programs for homeless women with children in the 29 continental United States cities that participated in the 1994 U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual 30-city survey. Results and recommendations. The majority of the participants were women with children between the ages of 20 and 34. The majority of the women (85.8%) were minority women with children. Most of the women were single. The most frequent reasons for homelessness were physical abuse; housing issues, such as eviction or the lack of affordable housing; lack of family support; and substance abuse. The average number of children in the homeless family was between two and three. Children five years or younger made up 58.8% of the children in the programs. The majority of the participants failed to graduate from high school or vocational technical school and were either unemployed or had never been employed when they entered a program. Nevertheless, program directors judged that 76.7% of the participants were probably or definitely employable. Recommendations were that transitional programs should be 5-10 individual living units in size and 24 months in length, with an additional follow-up period. Also, that transitional programs include the following important program areas: Permanent Housing Assistance, Children's Programs, Family and Independent Living Skills Education, Support Services, Family Health and Preservation, and of special importance, Adult Basic Education and Employment Training. Finally, in each of those seven program areas, 24 specific components were identified that should be included in transitional programs.

Subject Area

Adult education|Continuing education|Social work|Womens studies|Public administration

Recommended Citation

Flohr, Judy Kay, "A framework for successful transitional programs for homeless women with children: Education, employment training, and support services" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9709594.