OBJECTIVE. This exploratory investigation sought to understand what meaning parents, living in a home less shelter, attribute to family routines and the nature of those routines.
METHOD. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 parents living in a homeless shelter. Thematic analysis was employed to develop descriptive codes and themes from transcribed data and field notes.
RESULTS. Parents described family routines focused on three features: promoting intimacy, maintaining or developing a legacy, and connections with the community. These routines seemed to preserve family integrity while homeless and to provide hope for the family to continue into the future.
CONCLUSIONS. Homeless parents, in this investigation, seemed to expend a substantial amount of energy to create or maintain family routines while living in a homeless shelter. Findings suggest that occupational therapy services may help support homeless parents as they exercise their role as the organizer of family routines.