Please note: All webinars are recorded. Archived recordings, powerpoint presentations, materials, and transcripts from Q&A are posted on our archived webinars page.

Thursday, January 23, 2020, 1:00 – 2:15PM ET

Title: How A Small Rural Community College Supports Students Experiencing Homelessness

[Certificate of Attendance available upon completion]

College of the Redwoods is a small rural community college committed to supporting students experiencing homelessness. With tremendous support from the leadership team, College of the Redwoods has created innovative programming, including a merit-based housing and meal scholarship program that provides students with year-round housing and a meal plan free of charge. From the webinar, participants will:

  • Hear from College of the Redwoods staff, including senior leadership, about how and why they created a support program for students experiencing homelessness
  • Learn how a small rural community college creates a system of support, both on and off campus, to identify and support students experiencing homelessness
  • Identify 2-3 strategies that can be adapted and implemented on campuses to better support students experiencing homelessness


  • Jillian Sitjar, Program Manager, Higher Education, SchoolHouse Connection
  • Dr. Kintay Johnson, Director of Special Programs, Redwoods Community College District
  • Dr. Keith Flamer, President / Superintendent, Redwoods Community College District
  • Joe Hash, Vice President, Student Development & Student Learning Support Services, Redwoods Community College District
  • Marty Coelho, Executive Director College Advancement, Redwoods Community College District

Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 1:00 – 2:15PM ET

Title: Truancy v. Chronic Absenteeism: Supporting the Attendance of Students Experiencing Homelessness

[Certificate of Attendance available upon completion]

Almost 8 million students were chronically absent from schools during the 2015-2016 school year. Unsurprisingly, research shows that economically disadvantaged students are more likely to be chronically absent than the overall student population—but studies also indicate that students experiencing homelessness are chronically absent at rates even higher than their housed, low-income peers. While chronic absenteeism measures total absences, including excused and unexcused, truancy measures only unexcused absences–and the number of unexcused absences it takes for a student to be considered a “truant” differs by state. While it’s important to distinguish between truancy and chronic absence, communities that are successfully serving homeless students who are truant OR chronically absent are finding that supportive, community-driven efforts are most effective. During this webinar, two practitioners will speak about their work supporting the attendance of students experiencing homelessness–one from the school community perspective, and one from the community at large.


  • Katie Brown, Program Manager, Education Leads Home, SchoolHouse Connection
  • Tamara Vaughn-Walker, Juvenile Justice Council Coordinator, St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Rose Taphouse, Lansing School District Student Services Coordinator, Lansing School District, MI

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 1:00 – 2:15PM ET

Title: The Youth Risk Behavior Survey as an Advocacy Tool

[Certificate of Attendance available upon completion]

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is a biennial survey that assesses health risk behaviors among high school students. In 2017 and 2019, record numbers of states included at least one question about homelessness on their YRBS questionnaires. This allowed those states to measure the true prevalence of homelessness among high school students and expose their disproportionate health and mental health risks. It also permits comparisons of risk factors across different kinds of homeless living situations, such as youth who stay in shelters, with others temporarily, and in other inadequate situations. This webinar will share information from the YRBS about prevalence; racial, ethnic, and sexual disproportionalites; and health risk behaviors. Most importantly, we will share advocacy strategies and tools to help you get homelessness questions added to your state’s YRBS for 2021.


  • Patricia Julianelle, Director of Program Advancement and Legal Affairs, SHC
  • Andrew Palomo, Director of Community Strategies, National Network for Youth

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