Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lim, Caroline (Ph.D., MSW)


Background and Purpose: Homelessness among foster youths is so dire that understanding the impacts of homeless among this population is imperative. The aim of this study was to examine the nature of homeless using a subsample from the Inland Empire and to examine the effects of homeless on their functioning in the following domains: understanding and communication, mobility (getting around), self-care, getting along with others, life activities (work/school), and participation in society. Methods: This descriptive study used a cross-sectional design to gather quantitative data to examine the frequency, duration, and effects of homelessness. Participants were former foster youth between the ages of 18-24 recruited from the general population and a transitional housing program. Participants were recruited using nonprobability sampling. The data gathered was demographics along with the nature of homelessness measured by the number of homeless episodes and the duration of their homelessness as well as the effects of homelessness measured using the WHODAS 2.0 that examined six different domains of functioning. Descriptive statistics were derived to understand the sample, and correlation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between these variables. Quantitative data was gathered using an online survey. Results: The participants in this study were foster youth who mostly attended community college and lived in a transitional housing program. The average time of homeless episodes in this sample was 2.4, with the average duration being 10.6 months. On average, participants did not report high levels of impairment except in the domain of participation in society. The findings from this study revealed that the frequency and duration of homelessness were not associated with participants’ functioning. Conclusion: Results suggest the need to examine other domains of functioning not assessed in this study. In addition, findings suggest the need to be more conscious of the psychological effect of homelessness on foster youths’ dignity and self-worth.