Action Needed by March 10th to Support Homeless Children and Youth

On February 19, 2020, U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Don Bacon (R-NE) circulated a bipartisan “Dear Colleague Letter” requesting support for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs in the FY2021 budget. The deadline for U.S. Representatives to sign on to the letter is Tuesday, March 10th.

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Five Questions with Jo Zimmer: Expanding Access to Host Homes for Unaccompanied Youth

Jo Zimmer, MPAE, owner of Beyond-the-Box Strategies, LLC, brings more than 20 years’ experience in safety net programs, most recently to the 28-county Rural Oregon Continuum of Care (ROCC), in her contracted role as Consultant/Coordinator for the Oregon team’s State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project. By helping agencies and entities cooperatively address issues of housing, homelessness, and poverty in rural Oregon, she hopes to assist communities in doing “better” with less and reframe traditional thinking about funding and service delivery. In this blog, Jo tells us about host homes in Oregon and how they help promote high school graduation for students experiencing homelessness.

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I have a 20 year old who was kicked out of his family home in July and spent two weeks in his car before he was allowed back in the house. He did his FAFSA and did not report himself as an unaccompanied youth. Can he change his FAFSA now, since he did have an episode as an unaccompanied homeless youth after July 1? He no longer has keys to access his family home, but they do permit him to stay there for now.

Answer: Yes, the student can amend his FAFSA— and in fact, technically students are required to amend changes in their dependency status.  There’s information on this here. Reading your description of the student’s situation (no keys, “allowed/permitted” to stay, “for...

A student was permanently housed in our district in the 8th grade. Then, the parents moved to a neighboring community where the child attended 9th, 10th and the first semester of 11th grade. Are we still the school of origin? Does the student have the right to return to our district for the remainder of 11th grade and 12th grade?

Answer: No, assuming that the student was permanently housed in the neighboring community.  The legal definition of school of origin is “ the school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled,...

If a parent tells the liaison, during the initial assessment, that they are going to be evicted, but this eviction is not going to take place for a few weeks/days, can the liaison qualify them for McKinney-Vento services immediately? What if they have documentation of the eviction?

Answer: Eligibility determinations based on pending evictions are case-by-case, as are all determinations of McKinney-Vento eligibility. If a family has been given documentation of an imminent eviction, and they know they will be moving to a homeless situation (going...

Can districts use their Title I homeless set-aside to pay for counseling sessions and dental services for a homeless student?

Answer: Yes, as long as 1) the services are reasonable and necessary to assist the student to take advantage of educational opportunities; and 2) Title I, Part A funds are used as a last resort when funds or services are not available from other public or private...

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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