Date of Award


Degree Type



School of Social Work

Degree Name



Social Science and Clinical Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Boxill


The overall objective of this study was to explore those events and circumstances leading to homelessness among women and their children who use public shelters in metropolitan Atlanta. To attain this objective, the researcher did the following: (a) identified the factors that influenced homelessness; (b) explained the various interactions between factors; and, (c) used simple theoretical models to test which of these factors had greater influence.

The research design used in the study was an exploratory/descriptive design. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data in three shelters. The population served in the three shelters (A, B & C) on a daily basis is approximately 130 women and their children. Samples used in Shelter A equaled to 31 women, Shelter B equaled to 29 women, and Shelter C to 5 women. Simple descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Data collected from Shelter C was not used in comparison with the other two shelters since this would distort the findings. Shelters A and B were almost equal and the sample in Shelter C was very small, therefore, Shelter C was excluded from the comparison. The findings reveal that the major contributory factors to homelessness among women and their children are economic, social, political and the legislative. Whereas, the secondary factors are personal crises, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, psychiatric disturbances, physical disablement and limited educational background.

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