An examination of the issues of youth who are experiencing homelessness is crucial in supporting this vulnerable population. Public schools have a responsibility to assist these students in their academic, career, and social-emotional development. With unique, personal needs, students who are homeless must be understood by school counselors and other school personnel to be appropriately supported. Homelessness can be identified through many characteristics and identified needs. It is key for school counselors to recognize these characteristics and consider the impacts that the school and resources can make on the student’s life. Throughout the paper, the causes of homelessness, potential protective and risk factors, advocacy efforts, along with counseling approaches that can support this population are discussed. School counselors better understand how to effectively assist students who are experiencing homelessness by looking at internal and external conflicts, such as family concerns and substance abuse. School counselors’ awareness of the varying needs and concerns of this population, including multicultural concerns, can help support homeless youth in public school systems.

Keywords: youth experiencing homelessness, homelessness, public schools, social justice, advocacy, internal and external conflicts, multicultural issues

Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Document Type

Capstone Paper

Degree Name

Masters of Science in School Counseling


Counselor Education - Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Anquinetta Calhoun


Winona, Minnesota



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