Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 711–722

Moving Ahead: Evaluation of a Work-Skills Training Program for Homeless Adults

  • Sarah E. Nelson
  • Heather M. Gray
  • Ingrid R. Maurice
  • Howard J. Shaffer
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10597-012-9490-5

Cite this article as:
Nelson, S.E., Gray, H.M., Maurice, I.R. et al. Community Ment Health J (2012) 48: 711. doi:10.1007/s10597-012-9490-5

Abstract

This study examines the impact of a work-skills program grounded in an integrated services approach on both employment and related life domains among homeless individuals. Six hundred thirty-eight participants in a 14-week work-skills program at a large day center in New England completed assessments at intake between 1999 and 2007; a subsample of 333 also completed assessments at graduation from the program; a smaller subsample of 55 participants were re-assessed 6 months after graduation. These assessments measured work and related life skills, employment, housing status, general health status, substance use, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and legal involvement. Results revealed improvement in all types of work and related life skills, employment and income, and multiple other life domains from baseline to graduation and follow-up. Exploratory analyses suggested that improvements in work and related life skills were associated with improvement in self-esteem and self-efficacy, and that these improvements predicted stable housing situations at follow-up. Overall, these findings indicate that, for individuals struggling with the challenges of homelessness, completion of a work-skills program has a positive impact on skills and employment, and on a diverse set of life domains.

Keywords

Homelessness Work skills Employment Self-esteem Self-efficacy 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah E. Nelson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Heather M. Gray
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ingrid R. Maurice
    • 1
  • Howard J. Shaffer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division on AddictionCambridge Health AllianceMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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