Resident Perspectives on Life in a Transitional Living Program for Homeless Young Adults

Safe and affordable housing is critical for any young person’s well-being, and yet many youth are without a reliable place to live. Knowledge of the perceptions of housing programs and shelter among homeless young adults ages 18–24 is very limited. Using qualitative methodology, the present study explores the perceptions of homeless young adults on their experiences as residents of a transitional living program (TLP) by asking the following research questions: (1) What are TLP residents’ expectations of themselves and others in the program? and (2) How do residents perceive the rules and structure of the TLP? Sixteen interviews were conducted with residents at a TLP for homeless young adults, with participants ranging in age from 18 to 22. Findings illuminated residents’ strong emphasis on the values of hard work, self-discipline and a good attitude. Results revealed that residents felt that they are overly monitored within the program, particularly around daily living in the residence and felt a lack of flexibility in the rules and regulations. It is important that the structure of a TLP housing program so that rules are not disruptive to healthy development and successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. Further implications for practice are discussed.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal