New Resources


Youth Homelessness and Higher Education: An Overview

Postsecondary attainment is increasingly necessary to move out of poverty and homelessness and live a healthy, productive life. Yet youth experiencing homelessness face barriers in transitioning from secondary to postsecondary education, as well as barriers to financial aid, college retention, and college completion. This fact sheet summarizes existing data and information on youth homelessness and higher education.

Sesame Street Launches National Initiative on Family Homelessness

Sesame Street Workshop launched a national initiative on family homelessness to bring awareness and support to young children and their parents who are homeless, and those who serve them, including early childhood programs, schools, and service providers. Lily, a sweet and resilient 7-year-old muppet whose family experienced homelessness, is featured throughout the new resources, which include a storybook, videos, activities, and materials for providers.

Guide to Using Sesame Street in Communities’ Resources on Family Homelessness

Sesame Street in Communities has produced free, bilingual resources for children and families experiencing homelessness and the providers who serve them. There are many different kinds of providers, including school district homeless liaisons, early childhood programs, and homeless assistance and housing programs. To help these providers quickly begin to use Sesame Street content in the context of their specific work, SchoolHouse Connection has produced brief suggestions, organized by provider role. Also, because there is a role for all of us in supporting children and families experiencing homelessness, we offer suggestions for the general public, as well as for children and youth who wish to help other children and youth.

5 Guides to Help Homeless College Students in California

The California Homeless Youth Project and SchoolHouse Connection are proud to announce a series of five practical guides to support homeless and low-income college students in California. These series provide concise overviews of the five greatest needs of students experiencing homelessness: housing resources, CalFresh application assistance, FAFSA completion, mental health services, and access to supportive services outside of the school.

Positive School Discipline Practices for Students Experiencing Homelessness

This document provides a brief overview of school discipline, shares research on the discipline of students experiencing homelessness, and offers tips for implementing positive school discipline for students experiencing homelessness. It also shares stories and suggestions from SchoolHouse Connection Young Leaders who experienced homelessness.

Tip Sheets for Young People

SchoolHouse Connection is pleased to launch a new series of tip sheets informed by, and designed for, young people. Future topics include accessing mental health services, signing a cell phone contract, transitioning out of college, and more.

Tip Sheet for Young Parents: Finding Care for My Child

Child care can help you reach your educational and career goals to support your family.  It is important to find quality child care that meets your needs, and your child’s needs, and to learn about assistance that is available to you.  This tip sheet and video will help you get started.

State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project: Request for Proposals

Request for proposal. Education Leads Home is excited to announce the State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project to support the planning and implementation of state-specific strategies that leverage best practices to support access to and success in early care and education for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

State Laws to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

This publication provides information on four categories of state laws that support youth experiencing homelessness. 1. Laws allowing unaccompanied homeless minors to consent for housing and shelter services 2. Laws empowering unaccompanied minors to consent for routine medical care 3. Laws that mitigate the effects of mobility to help students experiencing homelessness graduate from high school 4. Laws supporting students experiencing homelessness in higher education

State Laws on Minor Consent for Routine Medical Care

This document includes states with laws allowing minors, including unaccompanied homeless minors, to consent for routine health care. It does not address state laws that empower minors to consent for substance abuse treatment, mental health care, treatment for contagious diseases or reproductive health.

McKinney-Vento Act: Two-page Summary

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) amended the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, as well as Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESSA amendments include many provisions designed to improve training, identification, enrollment, stability, and success, from pre-school through high school, and the transition to post-secondary education. A brief summary is provided.

Banding Together to Help Homeless Students

The legendary rock band Pearl Jam, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Raikes Foundation, and Deutsche Bank, will match any donations made to projects that support students experiencing homelessness on The match will continue as long as funds last. Create your project and get your donations matched today.

Tip Sheet for Young People: Leases

This is a tip sheet for those who are interested in signing a lease. A lease is a contract you sign to rent an apartment or house. You should always get a written lease. Read the lease before you sign it. If you have any questions about the lease, take pictures of every page and talk about it with someone you trust before you sign it. It is your right to read, understand and agree with the lease before you sign it.

Pathways to Partnership: Higher Education

This second "Pathways to Partnership" series is designed to help LEA homeless liaisons and homeless service providers to 1) gain a basic understanding of some important higher education programs, including those programs that have specific requirements on homelessness; and 2) create and sustain higher education partnerships. Connecting youth and young adults who experience homelessness with the appropriate resources will help pave a smoother transition to and through postsecondary education.

Quick Guide for Counseling Staff Working with Students Experiencing Homelessness

School counseling staff provide important support to students experiencing homelessness. The Every Student Succeeds Act recognized this role by adding requirements that counselors advise students experiencing homelessness and improve their readiness for college. SchoolHouse Connection’s new quick guide, written by a school counselor, provides practical tips and strategies for supporting students experiencing homelessness, helping meet their basic needs, and planning for graduation.

Pathways to Partnership: Early Childhood Education

Quality early childhood programs can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and help families experiencing homelessness regain stability. Local educational agency (LEA) McKinney-Vento liaisons and homeless service providers funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are required by law to connect families experiencing homelessness to early childhood programs. The first in a new SHC series, this guide is designed to help LEA liaisons and homeless service providers develop a basic understanding of, and build partnerships with, five key early childhood programs.

Childproofing Checklist for Housing and Homeless Service Providers

Many housing and homeless service systems and programs are ill-equipped to provide the resources and support that infants, young children, and school-aged children and their families need. This tool is designed to help housing and homeless service providers make their spaces safe for children, to help promote their health and well-being.

Transportation for Students in Foster Care: A Legal and Practical Reference Tool

Students in foster care move frequently. They move when they are first brought into care, and caseworkers may change children’s placements multiple times over their time in care. However, students in foster care should not have to change schools every time their foster placement is changed. This two-page brief reviews requirements for child welfare agencies and educational agencies; provides considerations in developing foster care transportation procedures; and includes links to sample transportation guidelines and procedures.

Guidelines for Designating LEA-Level and Building-Level McKinney-Vento Liaisons

Designating school building-level McKinney-Vento contacts can be a highly effective best practice for identifying children and youth who are experiencing homelessness, and ensuring full implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act. However, sometimes roles can become muddled. These guidelines were created in response to a request from a State McKinney-Vento Coordinator who confronted challenges clarifying lines of authority and responsibility in school districts that designate school building-level McKinney-Vento contacts (in addition to the required designation of the school district McKinney-Vento liaison). The guidelines are designed to share the relevant laws. and provide a procedure to help maintain clear roles and responsibilities.

Sample Form Letter to Determine the Independent Student Status of Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Another ESSA amendment to the McKinney-Vento Act requires school district liaisons to inform unaccompanied homeless youth of their status as independent students for financial aid (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA) and help them obtain verification of that status. To help implement this policy, we’ve prepared a sample form letter to determine the independent student status of unaccompanied homeless youth for the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Microsoft Word).

Full Participation in Extra-Curricular Activities for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Research shows the importance of participation in activity programs in increasing high school graduation and later success in life, particularly for disadvantaged students. Yet homelessness creates significant barriers to participation in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. Fortunately, the ESSA amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act include new policies to remove barriers to participation in extra-curricular activities.

State Laws on Minor Consent for Housing and Related Services

Several state legislatures have recognized that unaccompanied homeless youth under age 18 need legal rights to access housing, shelter and other basic services. Current and Pending State Laws Allowing Unaccompanied Homeless Youth to Consent for Housing and Related Services is a new document that summarizes state laws.

Federal Child Care Regulations and Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published final regulations to implement the Child Care and Development Fund program (CCDF) in September 2016. Here is an explanation and summary of the final Child Care and Development Fund regulations on homelessness.

Making Your School District’s Website a McKinney-Vento Tool

The McKinney-Vento Act as amended by ESSA requires school district liaisons to ensure that public notice of educational rights is disseminated in “locations frequented by parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youth,” in a “manner and form understandable to them.” Today, many families and youth get information from the internet. This makes it important for school district websites to contain information about the McKinney-Vento Act. Is your school district’s website a McKinney-Vento tool? We’ve created a simple guide to help.

ESSA Tool: Assessing the Capacity of LEA Homeless Liaisons

The new requirement for local educational agency (LEA) liaisons to be “able to carry out” ten specific duties in the law has the potential to have the greatest impact on children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. We developed a simple tool to help LEAs quickly identify and prioritize areas where greater capacity is needed to carry out the law.

Sesame Street Launches New Trauma Initiative

SHC is proud to partner with Sesame Workshop on a new initiative to help children cope with traumatic experiences. The Sesame trauma initiative features new, bilingual content that presents coping strategies to help children feel safe and become more resilient in a range of situations, and gives adults the tools they need to foster nurturing connections. The initiative also includes professional development resources and simple strategies for parents and community providers.

Making the Case #2: Extra-Curricular Activities

SchoolHouse Connection’s “Making the Case” series shares real students’ situations and walks through making the legal case for providing the support the student needs. This issue focuses on participation in extra-curricular activities.

Supporting Children and Youth Displaced by Disasters: Five Key Policies for Schools

Schools can be a place of stability, normalcy, and support for children and youth who are displaced by disasters. Liaisons also may be able to connect younger siblings with early childhood resources to provide safety, stability and a place to be a child as parents seek to rebuild. A new brief from SchoolHouse Connection summarizes five key policies and provides quick tips for their implementation.

A Closer Look at ESSA, Title I Part A, and Students Experiencing Homelessness

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) created important new requirements and opportunities for serving children and youth experiencing homelessness through Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESSA amendments to Title I Part A go into effect in the 2017-2018 school year. Learn what's new, including a sample needs assessment and new summaries.

ESSA PowerPoint Training Template

Baseball’s spring training may be wrapping up, but schools’ spring trainings are just getting underway. With that in mind, we are pleased to share our new ESSA PowerPoint template. All are welcome to download, edit and use this template, which includes the latest guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, new research, a pop quiz, an interactive exercise, sound clips from youth, and new resources.

New Study on Homelessness Among Community College Students

On March 15, Wisconsin HOPE Lab released the results of a national study on hunger and homelessness among community college students. The study, Hungry and Homeless in College: Results of a Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education, found that one-third of community college students are hungry and 14 percent are homeless.

The Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report entitled “Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness.”  The study collected data from families at the time they were in emergency shelters, followed the families over the next 20 months, and then surveyed them again, collecting information about the family, the parents, and up to two focal children in each family.

New Report on the Health and Well-being of Homeless Teens

On March 13, the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH) released "More Than a Place to Sleep: Understanding the Health and Well-Being of Homeless High School Students." The study demonstrates that teens who experience homelessness have unequivocally worse health outcomes than housed teens – outcomes that threaten their lives and jeopardize their ability to finish school and transition to a stable adulthood.

New Report Highlights FAFSA Challenges for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

This SchoolHouse Connection report is based on newly available U.S. Department of Education (ED) data from the 2015-2016 Application Cycle of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The data demonstrate the on-going problems young people experiencing homelessness face in accessing financial aid, and therefore higher education.

New Child Care Training: Strengthening Families

Families needing child care are as different as children themselves. Child care programs never know which families will arrive at the door, but rest assured they all have two things in common: parents want what’s best for their children and every family has strengths. Idaho's new training for child care programs helps participants identify concrete strategies for promoting protective factors in families experiencing homelessness.

New Training & Awareness Videos

Patricia Julianelle has a new DVD hot off the presses, with four short videos specifically focused on transportation, higher education, early childhood education, and voices of youth.

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