Spaces, Places, and Policies: Contextualizing Student Homelessness

Students and families experience homelessness and high mobility (HHM) in vastly different ways. Yet, popular media, academic scholars, and practitioners often overlook this diversity. Building on a 2012 special issue of Educational Researcher, I discuss recent research that highlights the heterogeneity of HHM student and families. In particular, I focus on the ways in which residential space (e.g., shelter, doubling up with friends, or living in relatively independent accommodations) and geographic place (e.g., urban, suburban, or rural areas) shape educational opportunities and experiences. In doing so, I attend to various policies that help shape where and how families live and where and how they experience schooling. Future research questions and implications are discussed.

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Educational Researcher