Perceptions of faith and outcomes in faith-based programs for homeless youth: A grounded theory approach

Kristin M. Ferguson, Qiaobing Wu, Grace Dyrness, Donna Spruijt-Metz

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to determine which "faith" elements exist in faith-based programs for homeless youth and how these concepts are defined according to staff and youth clients. Descriptions of client outcomes across programs are also explored. Quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 staff and 11 clients from 11 faith-based programs for homeless youth in Los Angeles. Common themes that emerged include using faith to instill hope in clients, non-church-related religious practices and spiritual growth in clients. Grounded theory is used to interpret findings and develop hypotheses to inform future research on faith and outcomes. Implications for social work are offered to guide practitioners and researchers in designing, implementing and evaluating effective faith-based practices for homeless youth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Faith-based
  • Grounded theory
  • Homeless youth
  • Outcomes
  • Qualitative
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this