, Volume 22, Issue 3-4, pp 257-279

My home is not my castle: Follow-up of residents of shelters for homeless youth

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Abstract

The paper presents a follow-up evaluation of Israel’s first two shelters for homeless youth. The main research questions were: (a) Did the youngsters achieve the shelters’ main goal of reaching a normative and suitable post-shelter residence? (b) How do the youngsters evaluate their stay at the shelter and its impact on them? (c) Is there a relationship between youngsters’ post-shelter residence and their evaluation of the shelter stay? Data on 345 youngsters were collected through follow-up telephone interviews with the youngsters, their parents, and community social workers. The findings indicate that the majority of these youngsters left the shelter to living arrangements that were normative but not necessarily fitting with their wishes and needs. Most of the youngsters were satisfied with the shelter, but no relationship was found between general satisfaction and achievement of the shelters’ declared goal. The discussion focuses on the significance of the findings with regard to the declared and operative goals of shelters.