The Homeless Education Program is designed to assist in creating school stability and ensure that youth identified as homeless under McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act have access to the same opportunities, experiences and resources as non homeless youth. In the role of liaison, the Program Coordinator, advocates for the youth through communications between social service agencies and educational agencies regarding the rights of youth and by providing technical assistance and education to all concerned parties as it relates to the rights of the homeless or foster youth.
Homeless Education Program Services:
- Assist in the identification of homeless youth.
- Ensure that children experiencing homelessness can be immediately enrolled in school regardless of available school and/or immunization records.
- Ensure that families, children and youth receive educational services for which they are eligible, including Head Start, Even Start and other public preschool programs.
- Provide referrals to health care, dental, and mental health.
- Provide appropriate services to inform parents and guardians of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and provide them with meaningful opportunities to participate in that education.
- Disseminate public notice of educational rights.
- Ensure that enrollment disputes are mediated.
- Inform families and youth about transportation services and assist them in accessing available community resources.
- Provide assistance with school supplies including necessary clothing for school attendance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
If our family is staying with relatives because we can’t afford rent, are we considered homeless even though we are not “out on the street?”
- Yes. The definition of “homeless” under the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act can be any of the following:
- Lacks regular, fixed , adequate nighttime housing
- Lives in a shelter including, family, domestic violence, youth shelter or transitional living
- Lives in a motel, hotel, or weekly rate housing
- Is sharing a house due to economic hardship
- Is living in a public place not designated for sleeping such as cars, parks, abandoned buildings, campgrounds
- Is in temporary foster care placement with an adult who is not their parent or guardian
- Is staying with friends or family because they are a runaway
Why is school stability important?
- Research shows that frequent school changes are seriously detrimental to children who are homeless. School mobility negatively affects these youth academically, socially, behaviorally and psychologically. At a time when they most need some continuity, staying in the school of origin may be the only constant in their lives.