Caring for vulnerable and marginalized populations is a central tenet of professional nursing, and of Christian service. Due to the scope and complexities of problems associated with homelessness, nurses may feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to serve homeless individuals. Strategies for ending homelessness largely include resource-intensive, publicly supported housing and comprehensive physical and mental health services. The role of spirituality in recovery from homelessness has not been widely examined. This article describes one homeless shelter's successful Christ-centered, comprehensive approach to helping individuals recover from homelessness. The integral role of the nurse in the multidisciplinary team and practical nursing interventions are described.
Robin Caldwell, PhD, RN, is a clinical assistant professor at Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Dallas, Texas.
Rebecca Meraz, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor professor at Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing.
Robert Sweeney, BA, has been in Christian ministry since 1984 and involved in homeless ministry since 1998. He became the Executive Director at Dallas LIFE in 2005. He is the author of two books.
Robin Caldwell receives $1300 stipend per month as a volunteer with Dallas LIFE. Rebecca Meraz declares no conflict of interest. Rev. Robert Sweeney is an employee of the nonprofit organization Dallas LIFE.
Accepted by peer-review 10/31/2016.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.