Asking for Change: Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a manualized photovoice intervention with youth experiencing homelessness

Kimberly Bender, University of Denver
Anamika Barman-Adhikari, University of Denver
Jonah DeChants, University of Denver
Badiah Haffejee, Elizabethtown College
Yolanda Anyon, University of Denver
Stephanie Begun, University of Toronto
Andrea Portillo, University of Denver
Kaite Dunn, University of Denver


Photovoice is a participatory action research method that empowers participants to photograph their everyday lives as a means of documenting and advocating for their needs; it has rarely been utilized with young people experiencing homelessness. The current study examined the feasibility, accessibility, and preliminary outcomes associated with participation in Asking for Change, a manualized Photovoice intervention, among youth (ages 18–21) staying in a homeless shelter (N = 22). Multiple sources of data, including field observation, standardized pre-post measures, and qualitative exit interviews were collected across two cohorts of Asking for Change. Results suggest the intervention was feasible and highly acceptable to many young people, created new opportunities to connect with young people, and, among those surveyed pre and post intervention (n = 9), was associated with improvements in communication skills, social connectedness, resiliency, and well-being. This article discusses the challenges and benefits inherent in doing this work and outlines a robust research agenda to move this knowledge base forward.