On the Frontlines: Perspectives of Providers Working With Homeless Women

Homeless service providers (HSPs) are on the frontlines of caring for the most vulnerable populations to help them navigate out of homelessness and access health and social services. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand, from the perspectives of HSPs (N = 19; age range, 27-58 years; SD = 10.37), their account and experiences in working with homeless women (HW), and opportunities for intervention development and integration. Five focus groups were conducted with HSPs in Central City East, Los Angeles. Five main themes emerged which included (a) seeking to establish a therapeutic relationship, (b) internal and external drivers of change, (c) navigating systems, (d) targeted outreach, and (e) program design recommendations. Within these themes, individual- and structural-level characteristics emerged. To better equip HW, HSPs’ perspectives need to be considered in future interventions to aid women traverse homelessness.

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Western Journal of Nursing Research