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PURPOSE: to understand the processes that homeless individuals experience when taking action to seek shelter and move into sheltered living conditions.

DESIGN: This Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) utilized a purposive homogeneous sample (n=9) of formerly homeless individuals. Inclusion criteria: experience of homelessness, >30 yrs. old, 2.5 yrs. living in supportive housing, English-speaking, and > 23 on the MMSE.

METHOD: Semi-structured interviews were analyzed through open-line coding, memo-ing, and data categorization to form themes.

RESULTS: The following superordinate themes emerged: path to homelessness, life on the streets, tipping point to sheltered lifestyle, connecting with lifelines, and life with Faith-based organization (FBO).

CONCLUSION: Unsheltered homelessness negatively impacts occupational participation, performance, and the internal processes of homeless individuals. External support was needed to overcome barriers, begin utilizing support services, and complete the process of transitioning into a sheltered environment.

Publication Date

Summer 8-2023


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


occupational therapy, homeless persons, qualitative research


Occupational Therapy | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social Justice


Poster presented at the Summer 2023 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on August 2-9, 2023

An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis: Exploring Key Constructs That Facilitate the Transition of Homeless Individuals to Sheltered Living Conditions