Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Marta Baltodano

Second Advisor

Jill Bickett

Third Advisor

Mary McCullough


The number of homeless children and youth in the United States is on the rise (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2016). Between 2016 and 2017 in the Los Angeles County Homeless Count, there was a 41% increase in the number of homeless minors (The Los Angeles Service Authority, 2017). Education is key to bringing people out of poverty and ending the cycle of homelessness.

Using a socio-psychological lens, this case study examined the perceptions of six of the staff and volunteers at one site of the Griffon Learning Center, an organization trying to close the educational gaps of homeless children and youth. It also includes the perspectives of 12 children and youth who utilized their services. The data of this study include interviews, observations of a participant observer, ethnographic field notes, journal reflections, and document analysis. An examination of the relevant literature is included.

Although this study cannot end the cycle of homelessness, it hopes to shed light on the issue and makes recommendations to organizations, school districts, politicians and legislatures, and educational researchers

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