Executive Director’s Note


Education is essential. Access to education, from early childhood through post-secondary, gives children and youth the tools to end their homelessness and achieve their dreams.

Grassroots approach. Change must be rooted in the realities of local communities. We listen and learn, then advocate and implement.

Youth leadership. Young people are the experts on their experiences, needs and strengths. We must accept their guidance and follow their lead.

Top Five Accomplishments


As 2017 comes to a close, SchoolHouse Connection’s mission of overcoming homelessness through education has never been so important. New research finds that lack of a high school degree or GED is the top risk factor for youth and young adult homelessness. In fact, youth without a high school degree or GED are 3.5 times more likely to experience homelessness than peers who completed high school. Early care and education are the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

In a tumultuous year, SchoolHouse Connection has remained focused, steady, and strong. We are proud of our many accomplishments, which include:

#1 Leading national and state policy advocacy

Leading national and state policy advocacy for children and youth experiencing homelessness, including three bi-partisan bills in Congress that would remove barriers to housing and education. We also launched a major state policy advocacy program, holding State Advocacy Institutes in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee with more planned for 2018. With our state partners, we are working on active legislation in several states.

#2 Timely, responsive, and practical help

Timely, responsive, and practical help to early care and education professionals, service providers, and advocates nationwide. Within days of Hurricane Harvey and the DACA decisions, we produced tools to assist communities. We created over 20 new resources to help educators and early childhood providers implement law and policy, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amendments. We conducted in-person trainings in 16 states, lead or participated in 20 webinars, and responded to hundreds of questions about individual children, youth, and families, many of which are archived in the most popular section of our website: “Q&A from Our Inbox.”

#3 Building a wider and stronger base of support

Building a wider and stronger base of support for children and youth experiencing homelessness through new and robust partnerships with diverse organizations, such as Sesame Street Workshop’s Trauma Initiative, Family Promise, the Salvation Army, and America’s Promise Alliance.

#4 Raising awareness and increasing understanding

Raising awareness and increasing understanding of the education and related needs of homeless children and youth through media outreach, including an op ed in Education Week (the paper of record for K-12 education) and our e-newsletter (with nearly 3,000 subscribers). Over 16,000 unique visitors to our website hear directly from youth and practitioners through our “Guest Perspective” blog and receive timely information on policy, practice, and research.

#5 Providing direct support to over 60 young adults

Providing direct support to over 60 young adults through our Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program, including helping 17 students cross the finish line of their college graduation. We also brought 13 young leaders to Washington DC, where they educated policymakers in a Congressional briefing and met with officials at the U.S. Department of Education. Our young leaders were featured in Youth Today, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. We will close 2017 by selecting ten new scholarship students, who will receive their award and join our family in 2018.

Partnerships


At the core of who we are and what we do is our large national grassroots network. We listen and learn, then advocate and implement. We are lucky to have robust partnerships with the following organizations!

Policy Advocacy


We create and shape federal policy, both administrative and legislative, that improves the educational outcomes and lives of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Protect federal funding for children and youth (primarily McKinney-Vento and Runaway and Homeless Youth Act)
  • Change federal policies to increase resources for children and youth (primarily through Homeless Children and Youth Act, advocacy with Domestic Policy Council and HUD)
  • Improve homeless youth’s access to career and technical education, higher education, and workforce development opportunities (primarily through Perkins Act, Higher Education Act and advocacy with DOL).

Social Media


At SchoolHouse Connection, our social media channels are meant to inform, engage, delight, and inspire.

Facebook Fans

Facebook Posts

Twitter Followers

Twitter Tweets

Youth Leadership & Scholarship Program


At SchoolHouse Connection, we believe that young people are the experts on their experiences, needs and strengths. We are also proud to offer a scholarship program. The program provides scholarships to youth who have experienced homelessness to ensure their completion of a post-secondary education program; builds a stable peer and adult support network; and offers young people meaningful opportunities to engage in advocacy.

When Amy told me that Schoolhouse Connection would help me pay for my grad pack, I cried. Being on my own has made these past four years of undergrad hard, and the time had finally come to where I’d see all my hard work and struggle pay off. When I realized how expensive it was too just to walk for graduation, I already knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it. It becomes too easy for somebody like me to feel like people have forgotten about us or don’t care, and time and time again, I’ve been proved wrong. Thank you for helping me be able to walk in my commencement ceremony! Thank you for reminding me that there are people who do care. I cannot possibly explain the amount of joy and gratitude that I have for what you’ve done for me and for all the work you do. Thank you!” Nancy Guzman

Scholarships to be Awarded

Gift Cards Given ($)

Number of Scholars

SchoolHouse Connection In The News


Discover all of our press releases, and articles we were mentioned in.

Media Coverage/In the News

Press Releases

Tools & Technical Assistance


At SchoolHouse Connection, we provide various tools and technical assistance such as:

  • Implementation tools for McKinney-Vento, early care, and higher education
  • Webinars featuring expert national, state, and local presenters
  • Weekly newsletter with Q&A, guest perspectives, and various resources
SchoolHouse Connection has definitely become the go-to source for assistance and support in the work we do. I hope you know how grateful so many people are every day for the work you all are doing! Nicole Sequiera

McKinney-Vento Liaison, Independence Public School District, Missouri

The SchoolHouse Connection website is an incredible resource. I put it in my favorites toolbar, because I visit it all the time. Courtney Porter

School Social Worker, SAU 6, Claremont NH

McKinney-Vento / ESSA Training


Total states traveled:

Total cities traveled:

Number of airports: 20

Total attendees in training sessions: 1,664

Williamsburg, VA

Spokane, WA

Washington, DC

South Dakota

Indiana

Rochester, NH

Manchester NH

Gorham NH

Seatac WA

TX state

Rhode Island

Virginia

Claremont, NH

Laconia, NH

Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing

Webinars


We conduct webinars featuring expert national, state, and local presenters. Some of the topics include:

  • Understanding Federal Student Aid Policy and Practice for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
  • Title I and Homelessness: New Requirements and Best Practices on Funds and Data
  • Immigrant Students Experiencing Homelessness: Latest Developments and Resources

Check out all of our past webinars here.

Number of webinars

Number of registrants

Newsletters


We provide timely information on federal and state policy, new resources, research, and local and state guest perspectives on innovative practices and programs. Here are some of our newsletters:

Check out all of our newsletters here.

Newsletters sent

Number of newsletters

Guest Perspectives


By Supporting HEASHFY, You are Telling Me that You See Me, and that You Support My Education.

Jordyn Roark

BSW candidate, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

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