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Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Moses Ikiugu


Homelessness, occupational therapy, program development

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The personal, environmental, and systemic factors surrounding homelessness have negative implications on occupational performance and quality of life for affected individuals. Therefore, the purpose of this capstone project was to gain insight to the lived experience of homelessness, develop a group-based occupational therapy program based on the results of a participatory community assessment, and solicit feedback from an expert panel of evaluators on the feasibility of the proposed program. The project took place at the Mary F. Frey Minneapolis Opportunity Center, a drop-in day center for individuals experiencing homelessness. Components of the project included adapting and facilitating community events in accordance with the Participatory Community Assessment framework. A 10-session group occupational program, called the Peer Support Program, was then developed to respond to the identified priority areas. An expert panel of stakeholders (n = 11) confirmed the overall feasibility of the developed occupation-based program in addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Development of the Peer Support Program manual provides an evidence-based and client-centered resource that occupational therapy practitioners working in homeless settings can use and adds to the growing body of work in this practice setting. Further testing of the program through research is indicated before recommendations for its wide implementation can be made.