Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Joseph, Rigaud


Despite living in the richest country in the world, many individuals and families across the United States face the harsh reality of homelessness. A social phenomenon, homelessness has affected hundreds of thousands of people every year. The impact of homelessness has been detrimental across the whole country, including Southern California. This exploratory study raised two questions: (1) What are contributing factors to homelessness in Southern California? (2) How can homelessness in South California be prevented? Taking a qualitative approach, this study interviewed 15 participants, 10 social workers and 5 people living in/or having experienced homelessness (N = 15). Thematic analysis yielded four themes: 1) many factors lead to homelessness, 2) people experiencing homelessness do use social services, 3) people experiencing homelessness face structural and personal barriers, and 4) addressing homeless requires a broad range of programs. These findings have significant implications for theory, research, social work practice, and social work education in the post-COVID-19 era.

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Social Work Commons