Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2018

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Elizabeth Coyle


In the United States there are 234,506 children who are homeless and also identified as having special needs within the 2015/2016 school year. This population experiences extensive biological, psychological, social, and academic needs (Black & Hoeft, 2015; Chow, Mistry, & Melchor, 2015; Gargiulo, 2006; Hernandez Jozefowicz-Simbeni & Israel, 2006). Schools face varied challenges of barriers such as properly identifying students and staff and funding issues (Bowman, et al., 2008; Gargiulo, 2006; Hernandez Jozefowicz-Simbeni & Israel, 2006), while families struggle with issues such as time constraints and high stress levels (Chow, Mistry, & Melchor, 2015; Hernandez Jozefowicz-Simbeni & Israel, 2006). While the challenges of both schools and families have been identified in the research, less is known about the best methods of delivering the complex array of services needed by this population of students. Therefore, this study will utilize a qualitative, case study design to investigate the best methods of prioritizing the delivery of multi-layered services for homeless students who have disabilities.


Senior thesis.