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The Homeless Shelter’s Staff: A Well-Being Program

In this paper, I am going to form a survey as a part of the implementation of a well-being program for the homeless shelter’s staff. The homeless shelter was chosen as an object of the survey because it appears to be a bright example of a non-profit social services organization. Moreover, my personal preferences also played a part.

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It is hard to deny that the understanding of the staff’s needs lies in the knowledge of an organization’s specificity. More than working conditions, the employees in a homeless shelter value the shared vision, uniting them. That is the reason why most of the survey questions aim to discover the employee’s emotional state and personal feelings. However, from time to time, the publicity gets shocked by cases of inadequate staff behavior and accusatory articles about homeless shelters. For instance, Miller describes which kind of unprofessional team’s behavior she observed in one of the homeless shelters (Miller, 2013). Consequently, the second aim of this survey is to figure out if an individual is satisfactory for a job position he/she takes.

It is said that it is possible to create a high-grade survey only following the strict rules. For instance, Crane (2011) claims that there is a need to highlight the following contexts in any participatory action research survey: economic, social, cultural, and policy contexts, funding, local, organizational settings, etc. (p. 7). Chevalier and Buckles (2013) suggest setting up a process mapping, design, etc. (pp. 9-18). However, the creative psychological approach based on knowledge of a survey object appears to be much more productive.

Here is a pattern survey for a homeless shelter’s staff.

  1. How long do you work here and which position you take?
    It is a leading question that aims to shape an appropriate member’s attitude to the survey, to help an employee to tune in and prepare for more intimate questions.
  2. What was the main reason for you to choose this job?
  3. Which kind of education did you get?
    The questions № 2 and 3 are transitional from the lead questions to more private ones.
  4. Could you say that you are satisfied with your job? What do you like and dislike the most about it?
    It is a common question that aims to discover the general employee’s feelings about the job.
  5. Are you satisfied with your working conditions?
    It is hard to deny that satisfaction with working conditions is deeply connected with a favorable working environment.
  6. How would you describe your relationship with colleagues? Could you say that you have some conflicts in your work team?
    Except for general aspects of such a survey question, there is a feature typical for the homeless shelters only. A lot of people that work in a homeless shelter were or continue to be homeless. It is important to figure out if there are any conflicts between homeless employees and workers with permanent abodes.
  7. How could you describe your relationship with the charges?
  8. Which kind of relationship do you have with administration?
    The way staff members act with their charges and supervisors makes a significant impact on the efficiency of their work in general.
  9. Could you say that you feel tired and stressed at work? If yes, how often did you have this feeling in the last three months?
    Psychological comfort of workers is essential for creating a favorable job climate.
  10. Would you like to improve something at your job?
    Feedback from the staff is crucial for the creation of the practical action research.

In this survey, little questions imply an employee’s direct involvement, because it is necessary to get the basic information at first. Undoubtedly, there is an acute need for a more detailed survey to express the employee’s ideas of reaching the favorable working environment.

Concerning ways to deliver a survey, the most efficient one seems to be a face-to-face structured interview (Sincero, 2012). To acquire veracious results, an interviewer needs to analyze the staff member’s reaction.


Chevalier, J. M., & Buckles, D. J. (2013). Handbook for Participatory Action Research, Planning, and Evaluation. Web.

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Crane, P. (2011). Participatory Action Research Workbook. Web.

Miller, R. (2013). I Went Undercover at a Homeless Shelter: You Wouldn’t Believe the Shocking Abuses I Found There. Web.

Sincero, S. M. (2012). How to Conduct a Survey. Web.

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