The American Psychological Association has recently issued a call for psychologists to redouble their efforts to eradicate homelessness (APA, 2010). Many may struggle with perceived challenges to beginning such work, yet contributing is not necessarily a complex or time-intensive task. Our collaboration with a faith-based homeless service agency provides examples of simple, commonsense actions that resulted in mutual benefit for individual psychologists, persons without homes, the agency that serves them, and a university psychology training program. By conducting research with homeless participants and offering brief assessments completed by graduate students, we improved the lives of individuals without homes and strengthened our community's response to homelessness. Simultaneously, we created new training opportunities for graduate students, furthered research in our areas of interest, and gained valuable experience with interdisciplinary collaboration and direct intervention in a marginalized population. From our experience, we extract lessons for psychologists considering work with the homeless and offer examples of specific actions that can facilitate the first steps in meaningful engagement.
- Brief assessment
- Mental health
- University psychology training program
ASJC Scopus subject areas