Homelessness in America: Perspectives, Characterizations, and Considerations for Occupational Therapy

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Learn how to better address the needs of the homeless

The causes of homelessness are complex and varied. Homelessness in America provides an overview of the state of research on the homeless population from an occupation and societal participation perspective. This important resource explores the systems of care in which homeless services are organized, the tailoring of services to meet the needs of diverse types of homeless, the newest trends in services, and crucial funding sources. Research is comprehensively examined from an occupation-based perspective, including studies on specific issues pertaining to various homeless populations. This in-depth discussion provides a vital understanding of homelessness using a client-centered and strengths-based approach in occupational therapy.

Much of the research and writings of occupational therapists who work with homeless populations has been scattered throughout various diverse publications. Homelessness in America: Perspectives, Characterizations, and Considerations for Occupational Therapy gathers into one useful volume important insights, practical strategies, and valuable research into the many challenges concerning homelessness. Various effective interventions are discussed in depth. Several leading authorities explore current issues and offer illuminating case studies, extensive reference lists, and helpful tables of funding sources.

Topics in Homelessness in America include:

  • results of an Internet-based survey of assessment tools used with the homeless
  • a critical examination of the assumptions of who becomes homeless—and why
  • typologies of homelessness
  • current trends in service delivery
  • federal organization and sources of funding for services
  • exploratory study of occupational concerns and goals of homeless women with children
  • study illustrating the value of the theory of Occupational Adaptation
  • mother-toddler interactions in transitional housing
  • the role of occupational therapy in the youth homelessness problem
  • homeless youths’ after-school and weekend time use
  • guiding intervention by using the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO)
  • productive role involvement at Project Employ
  • study on life skills interventions with effective recommendations
  • much more
Homelessness in America is insightful, important reading for occupational therapy educators, students, practicing occupational therapists, program directors of services to the homeless, and policymakers.
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What People Are Saying

Victoria P. Schindler
A comprehensive examination of homelessness from an occupational therapy point of view . . . Chapters naturally flow from an overview of homelessness to an understanding of the phenomenon of homelessness, and then to occupational therapy application. . . . required reading for any occupational therapy practitioner working with a homeless population. (Victoria P. Schindler, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, Program Director and Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey)
Peggy S. Sabol
As an experienced OT mental health practitioner and administrator working with homeless adults, I found the book Homeless in America THOUGHT PROVOKING AND HELPFUL to my practice. It approaches the complex issues of homelessness from multiple perspectives, ranging from theoretical concepts to pragmatic application. The chapters in the overview section offer clear explanations of how homelessness is viewed and how homeless services are delivered in our society. THIS IS ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR ANY PRACTITIONER who is interested in starting programs or initiating OT services with existing providers of homeless services. The book addresses also practice issues that are germane to targeted populations who represent a large and/ or growing number of homeless individuals, single mothers with children, youth and mentally ill adults. Of particular interest to me were the chapters that describe the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, an OT assessment tool that capture the unique cultural and functional challenges of homeless adults and can lead to meaningful goal setting. THE BOOK INFORMS AND INSPIRES US as OT practitioners to move forward to serve this underserved and often stigmatized population. (Peggy S. Sabol, MA, OTR/L, Manager, Psychiatry (manager of 3 supportive housing programs), Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ontario, Canada)
Sherry B. Scott
If you work with persons who are homeless THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ. The chapters on assessment and intervention models highlight the 'how to' for serving and engaging homeless populations in your community. . . . OFFERS OUTSTANDING FOUNDATIONAL KNOWLEDGE and best practice assessment, intervention, and research recommendations necessary for promoting health enhancing occupations among all those who are experiencing marginalization in America. It challenges occupational therapists to be collaborative partners with those who are homeless, utilizing the principles of client-centered empowerment and enabling participation to maximize the person-environment-occupation fit. The text helps facilitate solution-focused strategies to reestablish community engagement. (Sherry B. Scott, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor, Howard University, Washington DC)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789031914
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

  • The Status of Occupational Therapy: Addressing the Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness (Georgiana L. Herzberg, Sharon A. Ray, and Kathleen Swenson Miller)
  • Homelessness: Perspectives, Misconceptions, and Considerations for Occupational Therapy (Terry Petrenchik)
  • Systems of Care for Persons Who Are Homeless in the United States (Bruce W. Livingston and Kathleen Swenson Miller)
  • Occupational Concerns of Women Who Are Homeless and Have Children: An Occupational Justice Critique (Betsy VanLeit, Rebecca Starrett, and Terry K. Crowe)
  • Describing the Phenomenon of Homelessness Through the Theory of Occupational Adaptation (Jennifer A. Johnson)
  • Mother-Toddler Interactions During Child-Focused Activity in Transitional Housing (Sharon A. Ray)
  • Homeless Youth: Causes, Consequences and the Role of Occupational Therapy (Ann M. Aviles and Christine A. Helfrich)
  • The After-School Occupations of Homeless Youth: Three Narrative Accounts (Ann E. McDonald)
  • Assessing the Occupational Performance Priorities of People Who Are Homeless (Jaime Phillip Muñoz, Teressa Garcia, Joy Lisak, and Diana Reichenbach)
  • Occupational Therapy Intervention to Foster Goal Setting Skills for Homeless Mothers (Winifred Schultz-Krohn, Skye Drnek, and Kelly Powell)
  • Building Productive Roles: Occupational Therapy in a Homeless Shelter (Jaime Phillip Muñoz, Sara Dix, and Diana Reichenbach)
  • Life Skill Interventions with Homeless Youth, Domestic Violence Victims and Adults with Mental Illness (Christine A. Helfrich, Ann M. Aviles, Chaula Badiani, Deborah Walens, and Peggy Sabol)
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included
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