Research and Resources

Preventing and ending youth homelessness

Increasing self-sufficiency for transition-age youth

Developing effective programs that maximize impact

LifeWorks is an applied learning organization that is committed to sharing its experience, knowledge, and resources in order to promote more effective strategies to working with vulnerable, transition-age youth.



In 2013, LifeWorks established a Research Department to oversee program evaluation, conduct research, and implement evidence-based solutions to ensure that LifeWorks offers the best programs possible to help youth achieve stable housing, maximize economic opportunities, and increase self-sufficiency.

LifeWorks is pleased to share its resources and to support the work of researchers interested in collaborating on these efforts. 


If you are interested in partnering with LifeWorks, please complete the documents below and submit them to Liz Schoenfeld, Ph.D., Director of Research & Evaluation.


LifeWorks is dedicated to learning from the young people it serves and sharing the results with others who are equally as committed to providing high quality, effective services.

Self-sufficiency matrix users manual

The LifeWorks Self-Sufficiency Matrix User Manual describes the development of the tool, provides scoring guidelines, and outlines recommendations for its use.

Self-Sufficiency Matrix

The LifeWorks Self-Sufficiency Matrix is central to our efforts and allows us to monitor clients’ progress, guide service planning, and communicate our impact to stakeholders.

Vulnerabilities & Opportunities White Paper

The report addresses this gap in the literature, by providing an in-depth look at how transition-age foster youth compare to other at-risk youth of a similar age across a wide variety of characteristics.

Plan to End Youth Homelessness

In January 2017, Austin was awarded Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) funding by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support LifeWorks, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition and more than 100 community partners in developing and implementing a coordinated system strategy to end youth homelessness.

Partners:   A Way Home America   |   Austin Ending Community Homelessness Coalition

For copies of the following peer-reviewed articles or manuscripts, please email Liz Schoenfeld:

  • Schoenfeld, E. A., Bennett, K., Manganella, K., & Kemp, G. (under review). More than just a seat at the table: The power of youth voice in ending youth homelessness in the United States. Child Care in Practice.
  • Schoenfeld, E. A. (under revision). Predicting recidivism among domestic offenders: Examining the interconnections between program participation, gender, and family-of-origin issues.
  • Crockett, E. E., Keneski, E., Yeager, K., & Loving, T. J. (2015). Breaking the mold: Evaluating a non-punitive domestic violence intervention program. Journal of Family Violence, 30, 489–499.

More Information

For information on consultation, training and presentations, please contact Wendy Varnell, LCSW, Chief Strategy Officer.