Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Jeanne L. Gillespie

Advisor Department

Interdisciplinary Studies


This study, recognizing a lack of academic research into the homeless population’s needs, approaches the problem of needs assessment of the homeless through the context of customer service. The literature points to a discontentment with the classic shelter model, and potential positives in newer, emerging alternatives. Using the “Gap Model of Service Quality”, qualitative interviews were structured and scheduled with the homeless individuals in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The study encountered many obstacles, including lack of participation. Due to these complications, it could not come to any meaningful conclusions; however, there are multiple avenues for further research that developed through the process.