Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Yusuf Ransome

Second Advisor

Michael Wininger


Background: Homeless youth experience a variety of barriers to becoming employed and ending their episode of homelessness. DreamKit is a mobile intervention designed to help youth exit their episode of homelessness by paying them to upskill themselves and become more qualified for employment. This thesis explores the feasibility and usability of a mobile application intervention among homeless and housing insecure youth in the greater New Haven area.

Methods: We used a multiple-methods study design that included a formative research phase where we explored whether or not an app would be used by housing-insecure youth; a second pilot phase was included where we tested the application among 42 homeless youth in the greater New Haven area.

Results: Phase 1 results showed that youth were open to using a mobile application to help connect them to employment resources in their area. Youth highly requested that activities were fun and had a youthful feel. Phase 2 results showed that DreamKit users enjoyed using the application and found the activities appealing and useful.

Conclusions: Homeless youth in the greater New Haven area are willing to use a mobile application to connect to employment resources and build their skills. An initial version of the DreamKit application has been developed that is user-friendly and acceptable for use. Users gave insightful feedback in which DreamKit can incorporate in future iterations of the application.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access