House Committee Approves Funding Increase for Homeless Children and Youth

On May 9, the House Appropriations Committee passed its FY2020 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.The House bill includes $100 million in FY2020 funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. This represents a 7% increase over the FY2019 level; if enacted, it would represent a 30% increase in EHCY funding since FY2017.

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Tips for Teachers & Staff: How to Support Students Experiencing Homelessness

For many students experiencing homelessness, school is the only place of stability in their lives. Teachers play a crucial role in creating a classroom environment that is safe and supportive for all students, especially those who are highly mobile and have experienced the trauma that often accompanies homelessness. Here, we provide information and strategies that teachers and support staff can use to support the educational success of students experiencing homelessness.

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Tricks of the Trade: Advice from a Higher Education Basic Needs Navigator

By Miguel Arellano Sanchez, Basic Needs Navigator at The Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) at Oregon State University (OSU). Navigating college as a first-generation college student can feel like making your way through a maze with no map, filled with “learn as you go” lessons, and “wow, I wish I knew this then.” When you combine it with being low-income, homeless, and/or food insecure, it can feel like you’re navigating the same maze blindfolded, on a tightrope, balancing multiple responsibilities. It should not be like this.

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A student qualified for McKinney-Vento services and has been absent from school for quite some time. The family has not responded to communication. Are we required to keep this student enrolled, or can we disenroll the student?

Answer: Before disenrolling the student, you would need to try all available means of communication, based on all the information you have about the student.  Since we know that homelessness results in frequent moves, loss or disconnection of cell phones, and other...

If a Head Start program is administered through a community nonprofit (not a school district), is it required to follow the McKinney Vento Act?

Answer: No. The McKinney-Vento Act applies to preschool programs that are operated, administered or funded, in whole or in part, by local educational agencies. Details on this definition are available in our preschool flowchart. Head Start and Early Head Start...

We have a senior who has been living with her grandparents since the 5th grade. The local university told the grandmother that she needs to get a homeless youth verification letter from me. Can I provide the letter?

Answer: Not in this situation. Since this student has been in a stable home with her grandparents since 5th grade, she does not qualify as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act. (We are assuming the housing is adequate.) It would not be appropriate for you to provide...

Should McKinney-Vento liaisons and other school staff refer all unaccompanied youth to our child welfare agency?

Answer: No. The McKinney-Vento Act requires states and school districts to: "review and revise, policies to remove barriers to the identification of homeless children and youths, and the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youths in schools”  (42 USC...

I’m working with a 21 year old who just took in her 5 siblings. She was denied food stamps for them because she doesn’t have legal custody of them. Is that what the law says?

Answer: No. The sister does not have to have legal custody of her siblings to get food stamp (SNAP) benefits for her siblings.  SNAP eligibility is based on a household, which is defined as people who purchase and prepare food together. Custody, guardianship, or...

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 2016-17 school year, public schools identified more than 1.3 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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