Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Heidemann, Gretchen


This research project focuses on how social workers can improve the healthcare experience for people who are homeless. The twelve participants in this study were recruited from a homeless shelter located in Southern California. Data was collected for this study using qualitative methods by means of interviews. Interviews were conducted in person, audio recorded, and then transcribed for data analysis. Findings from this study indicated that the concepts of time, perception of needs being met, service connection, staff interaction, social work intervention, and potential social work intervention were all connected to whether participants viewed their healthcare visit as a negative experience or a positive experience. In addition, findings from this study revealed a low percentage of reported social work encounters at healthcare facilities among study participants. Results from this study have implications for social work practice in regards to location of social work intervention at healthcare facilities and extension of social work roles in healthcare settings.

Included in

Social Work Commons