Impacting Quality of Life at a Homeless Shelter: Measuring the Effectiveness of Say it Straight™

By Marcy Haag, Tom Wood and Linda Holloway.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study measured the effectiveness of Say It Straight™ (SIS), an evidence-based communication skills training program, as a means of enhancing interpersonal relationships, personal effectiveness and thus quality of life for homeless persons residing in a residential/overnight shelter located in a major city in the state of Texas, USA. The research was conducted at the shelter by the University of North Texas in fall 2009 during which staff members received 12 hours of SIS training. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collected from participants both prior to and following the training suggests that SIS had a positive effect on measures of trust, caring, attitude toward positive change and peer affiliation.

Keywords: Interpersonal Relationships, Homeless, Quality of Life

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 12, pp.195-204. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 863.713KB).

Dr. Marcy Haag

Assistant Dean, College of Public Affairs and Community Service, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

Marcy J. Haag, Ph.D., is Associate Dean in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of North Texas. Dr. Haag is a Master Trainer in Say It Straight™, a United States Dept. of Education nationally-recognized evidence-based program that results in empowering communication skills and behaviors. She has published on the subject and studied extensively with the founder of the program. Dr. Haag has presented this material in numerous settings with many age groups, including counselors, teachers, parents, students, homeless shelter staff and juvenile offenders. She is also a Certified Strengths Advocate, a Gallup Higher Education initiative focusing on strengths-based development. Her work at UNT is focused on Undergraduate success.

Dr. Tom Wood

Coordinator, Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

Dr. Wood is a Licensed Professional Counselor providing psychotherapeutic services and communication training for more than fourteen years. He has presented research and demonstrated Say It Straight™ at local, state and international conferences. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Wood is on the staff of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas Department of Psychiatry where he coordinates the Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program.

Dr. Linda Holloway

Department Chair, Rehabilitation, Social Work & Addictions, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

Linda Holloway, Ph.D., CRC is the Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work & Addictions at the University of North Texas. She has extensive experience in rehabilitation service delivery as well as rehabilitation training and education. Dr. Holloway is the past president of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education. She is a certified by the Gallup Higher Education Organization as a Strengths Advocate.


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