Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Debra Hanson


Homeless Persons; Unemployment; Vocational Guidance


Homelessness is a pervasive problem in the United States, and lack of job searching and work skills contribute to the situation (Helfrich, Chan, & Sabol, 2011). Although there are programs available that provide services to the homeless population, these programs typically do not extensively address work-related needs (Herzberg & Finlayson, 2001; Roy et al., 2017). A literature review was conducted using numerous databases and an informal interview was conducted with a key stakeholder at Seton House, a transitional housing program for homeless single parents. With this information, a program was developed to address vocational needs for the homeless, titled Work For U. The Occupational Adaptation Model helped guide development of this program.

This program addresses pre-vocational needs of the residents at Seton House to help them obtain and maintain employment and includes an occupational therapist handbook and a resident handbook. The program consists of three units that focus on self-exploration, pre-work skills, and work maintenance. This program is unique in that it extensively covers the skills needed to help individuals who are homeless overcome unemployment and therefore gain the financial stability needed to move past homelessness.