Education is Essential.

Education, from early childhood through post-secondary, gives children and  youth the tools to end their homelessness and achieve their dreams.

Grassroots Approach

Changes must be rooted in the realities of local communities.

Prevention must be a priority.

We will not solve adult homelessness until the complex realities and comprehensive needs of children and youth take a front seat in policy and practice.

Youth Leadership

Young people are the experts on their experiences and needs.

Child and Youth Development

The developmental needs of children and youth must be central to all advocacy, program design, outcome measures, and policy.





A Closer Look at ESSA, Title I Part A, and Students Experiencing Homelessness

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) created important new requirements and opportunities for serving children and youth experiencing homelessness through Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESSA amendments to Title I Part A go into effect in the 2017-2018 school year. Learn what’s new, including a sample needs assessment and new summaries.

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Partners in Liberation: Three Early Learning Case Studies

By Lisa Berglund, Masters in Public Policy, University of Maryland. When I met Trevon* at the therapeutic nursery at his family’s shelter in Baltimore, his teacher gave me a warning. “Be careful about getting close to him,” she said. “He gets scared around strangers.” This little boy, not yet two years old, had already been through significant trauma in his short life, which made him wary of his surroundings.

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Are all LEAs that receive Title I required to reserve set-side funds for homeless students? Or are only those that have a mix of Title I and non-Title I campuses required to do so, although all LEAS may reserve such funds if they choose to?

Answer: All LEAs that receive Title I, Part A funds must reserve funds for homeless children and youth, including those LEAs where every campus is a Title I campus. This is clear from the fact that the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) eliminated the previous...
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What does the law mean when it states that homeless children and youth “do not face barriers in accessing … extracurricular activities?” Is it specifically related to extracurricular activities related to academics?

Answer:  This provision is broader than only activities related to academics.  Rather than “academic,” the activity must be an integral part of school activities.  The basis for this is: The definition of “enrollment” includes attending classes and participating in...
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Can McKinney-Vento set-aside funds be used to pay for credit recovery for a MV student?  Not to “get ahead,” but only for the purposes of catching up with classes that the student did not pass earlier.

Answer: The short answer is yes, both McKinney-Vento funds, and the Title I Part A homeless setaside funds, may be used for this purpose. The U.S. Department of Education guidance states that Title I Part A setaside funds may be used for homeless students if the...
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I’ve been trying to find the statement in the law (or guidance, or regulations) that states that the reservation of funds under Title I Part A that is required for homeless students must be taken “off the top” of an LEA’s allocation before funds are distributed to schools. We’re trying to figure out the meaning of funds “off the top,” and how this relates to homelessness, non-public schools, etc.

Answer: This requirement is found in the language of the law itself, Section 1113(c)(3)(A)(i) of Title I, Part A. A recent Congressional Research Service memo helps clarify this provision by stating that “current ESEA statutory language directs that the reservation of...
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When a family leaves a shelter, they usually call the liaison to provide their new address for the purpose of rearranging school transportation. Can the liaison change/update a family’s address based on this phone call? Some in our district are saying families need to come in to the central enrollment office and show proof of address or sign an affidavit before we can adjust transportation. 

Answer: Yes, the liaison can update the address and rearrange the student’s transportation based on the phone call. Requiring families to go to the central enrollment office before adjusting transportation arrangements will result in students missing school. That is a...
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Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2014-15 school year, public schools identified more than 1.2 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require at least a Bachelor’s degree. A college degree is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.


Robust community partnerships, including housing, health care, nutrition, transportation, and other services, provide essential supports for children and youth to grow and thrive.

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