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Abstract

This qualitative case study examines and illuminates the social-emotional and educational experiences of children ages 5 to 18 residing in an urban, family emergency housing shelter located in the Southeastern region of the United States. Data were collected and triangulated through participant observations, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis. Findings revealed deep educational estrangement and adverse impacts on the social-emotional development of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The study suggests an urgent need to provide high-quality educational preparation to public school administrators and teachers working with children living in poverty and experiencing homelessness in the U.S. With persistent and rising child poverty, the author asserts that in addition to collectively working to dismantle systems of oppression that perpetuate poverty, building culturally responsive and inclusive learning environments in U.S. public schools must be a priority at national, state, and local levels. The author also shares critical research-to-practice recommendations for educators working in high-poverty schools.

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