Online Program

Partnering with homeless youth to study the scope and nature of youth homelessness

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jane Powers, Ph.D., Bronfenbrenner Center for Translation al Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Christine Heib, BA, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Amanda Purington, MS, BCTR, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
A youth participatory approach was used to conduct a needs assessment on the scope and nature of youth homelessness in an upstate New York community. In this unique and innovative university/community partnership, we collaborated with a group of formerly homeless youth to carry out the study. The youth were involved in all aspects of the project from designing the tools and methodology, to recruiting subjects, collecting the data, interpreting the findings, and presenting results to key community stakeholders. There have been three waves of data collection in the project from 2004-2012 which has enabled us to examine change over time. Partnering with homeless youth was integral to the success of this project: it enabled us to gather data on the hard-to-reach homeless population, deepened understanding of the findings, and led to increased community awareness and system level change. The multiple benefits of this approach will be discussed as a strategy to promote positive youth development, advance knowledge, impact policy, and improve services for homeless youth.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe the methods used to engage homeless youth as research partners; Discuss how the participatory approach used in the research enabled access to the hidden homeless; Describe the benefits of the approach for youth, the community, and the research process.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Homelessness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the collection, coding and analysis of the data that were collected for this project. I also presented the findings to various community and academic audiences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.