SchoolHouse Connection is a national non-profit organization working to overcome homelessness through education. We provide strategic advocacy and practical assistance in partnership with early childhood programs, schools, institutions of higher education, service providers, families, and youth.

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POLICY UPDATES


Emergency Legislation for Homeless Children, Youth, and Families Introduced

On June 9, 2020, the Emergency Family Stabilization Act (EFSA) was introduced by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). This legislation provides flexible funding directly to community-based organizations to meet the needs of children, families, and unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take action today to ensure that prolonged child and youth homelessness does not result from the COVID-19 outbreak.

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NEW RESOURCES


Does My Living Situation Meet the Definition of Homelessness?

A number of federal laws help to remove barriers to K-12 education, early childhood education, child care, and higher education (including financial aid). All of these education laws use the same definition of homelessness. This resource is designed to help you see if you meet this definition of homelessness, and if so, how you can access education and other resources.

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GUEST PERSPECTIVE


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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Q & A FROM OUR INBOXES

We have an unaccompanied homeless youth staying with us. We are trying to help him enroll in community college. The college said that he should fill out the FAFSA and ask his mother to fill out her portion. If she refuses, they will set up an interview to assess if he qualifies as homeless. Is this right?

Answer: No. The student should not ask his mother to complete the FAFSA.  He qualifies as an unaccompanied homeless youth and is independent for the FAFSA. If he cannot produce verification from a liaison or shelter, then the financial aid administrator (FAA) at his...

My transportation director is trying to put a mileage limit on how far we transport our McKinney Vento students. Does the McKinney-Vento Act permit a blanket mileage limit for school of origin transportation?

Answer: No it does not. The McKinney-Vento Act requires LEAs to provide transportation to the school of origin at the request of a parent or guardian or, for unaccompanied youth, at the McKinney-Vento liaison’s request. 42 USC 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii). Transportation...

Can an LEA reserve Title I-A funds only for transportation and/or only for the liaison, and reserve nothing for comparable services?

Answer: No. The Title I homeless set-aside requires the provision of comparable services. 20 U.S.C. 6313(c)(3) The homeless set-aside is required of all LEAs that get Title IA funds. Comparable services are required as part of that set-aside. Additional set-aside...

If a McKinney-Vento student has unpaid meal fees/fines from a time period before they became homeless, what should we do about those fees?

Answer: NCHE has a brief, which was developed in collaboration with USDA, that addresses this question: “There can be no delay in providing free meals to students who meet the relevant nutrition program eligibility criteria due to unpaid fees. In this case, the...

I have a family who has been living at a hotel for a long time. The father said that he has become the property manager there and is required to live there. Will the family continue to be covered by the McKinney-Vento Act?

Answer: In this specific case, the answer is no, the family is not eligible, but only because they are not staying at the hotel “due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations,” per the McKinney-Vento Act. 42 USC §11434a. The only caveat is if the conditions of...

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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