Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Sally Hood

Second Advisor

Ellyn Arwood

Third Advisor

Dierdre Katz

LC Subjects

Homeless children--Education--U.S. States; Homeless children--Housing; Youth--Housing; Homeless persons--Services for--United States


Literature is limited on the experiences of parenting homeless youth in rehousing and education programs. This study filled a research gap by discerning the experiences of parenting youth living with homelessness in the Clackamas County Youth Housing Initiative. Utilizing a transcendental phenomenology, this study explored how three Clackamas County parenting homeless youth experienced the housing program and the education services provided by the Clackamas County Youth Housing Initiative; and how the program and services impacted them during re-entry into mainstream daily life. Three young mothers, ages 18-25, were interviewed to extract respective experiences. Interviews were then analyzed to distill pertinent statements, themes, and essences to solidify a composite description of the youths’ lived experiences with housing and education programs through the Youth Housing Initiative. The data revealed participants were at different points in their journeys, but also exhibited that the youth were bound by extenuating structures, such as sense of motherhood, sense of safety, ongoing impacts of homelessness, all while deducing who they could trust in the process of pursuing an education or providing for their young children. The study yielded an ongoing need for holistic and individualized support to assist these youth in their thriving. Also, the ongoing use of Positive Youth Development was cited as a practice with which to situate the evolving experiences of these youth in their housing and educational prospects. Future research prospects include studying a second evolution of the same youths’ involvement in the Youth Housing Initiative programming as well as studying how their distinct journeys with parenting might affect these youth in their second year of programming.


Copyright retained by the author.