Bipartisan Group of U.S. Reps and U.S. Senators Call for Support for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness

The letters request specific support through the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program, Trafficking Prevention, and a new Family Stabilization Fund through the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Now more than ever, these children and youth need our attention. Yet, they have been largely left out of previous coronavirus legislation, including the CARES Act and the HEROES Act. In order to prevent further harm, dedicated resources are needed through the programs and systems that are best positioned to immediately help children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness, and ensure their long-term stability.

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How Financial Aid Administrators Can Respond to COVID-19’s Impact on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Seeking Financial Aid

The COVID-19 crisis has created new barriers to financial aid for unaccompanied homeless youth. But with support from financial aid and other supportive higher education professionals, these students can continue making their dreams of a college education come true. Here are relatively simple ways that financial aid administrators (FAAs) can help to remove barriers for these vulnerable students.

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Our Names are Destiny, Lorinda, and Jose: Navigating Homelessness During COVID-19

On April 30th, SchoolHouse Connection hosted a webinar featuring three young leaders from our Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program who are navigating higher education during the coronavirus pandemic. During the webinar, the students shared their experiences, challenges, and advice for other students, higher education professionals, and service providers. This blog post has been repurposed from the webinar.

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What are schools doing to support children who are too young to be enrolled in K-12 school?

Answer: SchoolHouse Connection has a checklist of five strategies for young children experiencing homelessness during (and after) the COVID-19 crisis. In NC, some districts have developed "educational kits" to support the needs of young children birth to five years...

Can we use McKinney-Vento funds, or Title I, Part A homeless set-aside funds, to pay for internet connections for students experiencing homelessness?

Answer: Yes, with a caveat. With schools closed and students engaged in distance learning (whether optional or required), internet connectivity is essential.  Most districts are providing these resources using regular district funds, or Title I funds. Students...

I am trying to find the specific wording from the McKinney-Vento Act that states that schools/districts/local liaisons are required to identify homeless students. We are having difficulties with some school staff not referring students to our program because students don’t want services, or because staff are deeming the student’s living situation as “not bad enough.”

Answer: Here is the exact legal language on identification at the LEA level: "Each local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths, designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii), shall ensure that-- (i) homeless children and youths are identified by school...

In federal McKinney-Vento data collection, do LEAs and SEAs report high school graduation data for students who were homeless at any point during their high school career? Or just upon graduation?

Answer: Data should be disaggregated for students who were homeless at any point during their high school career. See page 11 of the NCHE data guide: “Students who were homeless at any point during their high school career should be included in the calculation.” Read...

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, are we able to provide services/support without a parent signature on our McKinney-Vento paperwork? We’ve had some instances where a parent will not fill out the McKinney-Vento paperwork, because they do not think they are experiencing homelessness.

Answer: Yes, you are able to provide services and support without a parent signature. In fact, you must provide appropriate services to all eligible children and youth, without a parent’s signature. As you know, parents may have many reasons for not signing paperwork...

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 2017-18 school year, public schools identified more than 1.5 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 education beyond high school. Post-secondary attainment is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.

Unaccompanied Youth

Unaccompanied homeless youth are young people experiencing homelessness who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year.

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