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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Norena Badway

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Maloney

Third Committee Member

Linda Webster


This study investigated clients' perceptions of two approaches to ending homelessness in the United States: the Continuum of Care approach and a Housing First approach. Data were collected about perceived differences between the Continuum of Care and Housing First models of resolving homelessness. The study was conducted at an award-winning Housing First program in Los Angeles County, California. Successful completion of the Housing First approach was examined. This research employed a descriptive case study design, using multiple sources of evidence to investigate a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context. Nine clients were interviewed who had experienced both the Continuum of Care and Housing First approaches. The clients comprised a convenience sample that was selected in collaboration with the Housing First staff. Clients' perceptions of the two approaches were obtained primarily via the use of standardized open-ended interviews and informal conversational interviews. Clients' perceptions of the two approaches suggested that clients considered the Housing First approach to ending homelessness to be more effective than the Continuum of Care approach. The Housing First approach uses engagement of the clients by staff, teaching the clients to use tools of empowerment, and finally supporting the clients into a life of self-reliance.





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