Angela Thieman-Dino, Ph.D.
This qualitative ethnographic study examines why Boulder’s homeless young adult community remain living on the streets for extended periods of time. I undertook this project because very few ethnographic studies have been conducted on homeless youth and young adult culture, and even less have been done under the field of anthropology. As a volunteer with this population, I was driven to research why such individuals in Boulder utilize services yet continue to live on the streets. Through a variety of interviews and participant observation, I unveiled several underlying themes. The majority of Boulder’s homeless youth share a history of trauma. With this shared background there is a sense of acceptance, belonging, and family that forms within the street community. Although street life is difficult, once an individual finds his/her place within the community, leaving the streets means leaving his/her family and home.
Wyenn, Shane, "Behind the Cardboard Sign: An Ethnographic Study of Boulder's Homeless Young Adults" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 317.