Title of Work

Opportunities to increase wellness for persons experiencing homelessness: Understanding how agencies in the Twin Cities address homelessness and health

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

March 2022






This study examined agency strengths and areas of opportunity to further develop services that improve the wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness. Specific aims of this study were to understand health-related services offered to persons experiencing homelessness, particularly to better understand what’s happening, what’s working well, and areas for improvement. Eight individuals representing eight different agencies were interviewed. Using the qualitative analysis technique of axial coding, researchers identified a total of eight common themes. These themes included systems and their complexities, the benefits and limitations of funding, nutrition education gaps and needs, services that promote client health, the significance of safety to clients and how agencies promote safety for clients, barriers to housing, and the impact of COVID-19 on agencies. The identified themes highlight agency strengths and areas of opportunity to further develop services to promote client wellbeing. The identified strengths could inform current practice and opportunities for further development could inform program development and funding initiatives. Future research is needed to examine client health outcomes after utilizing agency services, how agencies can provide culturally tailored services particularly around food, and the efficacy of the hotel model implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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