Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Arts in Communication



Committee Chair

Carrisa Hoelscher


Although homeless shelters provide refuge, they also present several challenges that can negatively affect an individual's sense of internal and external control. A mix-method design was used to explore and address these challenges. Participants (N = 12) were recruited from a men’s homeless shelter via the snowball method. To identify the challenges, in-person, semistructured interviews were conducted. Participants discussed barriers that included being around others who displayed abnormal and deviant behavior, and disparaging policies that censored and restricted basic decision-making processes. Once the challenges were identified, a restorative technique called circles was utilized to increase participants' self-efficacy and satisfaction while living in a homeless shelter. Chen et al.’s (2001) New general self-efficacy scale and a newly constructed satisfaction questionnaire was used to respectively measure participants' self-efficacy and satisfaction scores before and after a circle intervention. Although a paired sample t-test found no difference in participants’ self-efficacy before and after the circle intervention (t (11) = -1.03, p ˃ .05), there was a significant change in overall satisfaction (t (11) = -2.80, p ˂ .05, d = 0.87). These results are important because it contributes to our understanding of homelessness and serves as a future vision for the application of restorative practices within a sheltered setting.


homeless shelters, homelessness, restorative justice, restorative circles, sheltered cohorts, self-efficacy, disempowered

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Communication | Sociology


© Shaun A. Sletten

Open Access