SchoolHouse Connection is a national non-profit organization working to overcome homelessness through education. We provide strategic advocacy and practical assistance in partnership with early childhood programs, schools, institutions of higher education, service providers, families, and youth.
SHC’s recommendations are based on our daily direct interaction with our network, as well as decades of experience witnessing the many ways that previous federal strategic plans have fallen short, or failed outright. It is our hope that in light of the persistent — and often generational — crisis of homelessness, the Biden-Harris Administration will pursue fresh perspectives and new ideas. It is in this spirit that we offer the following feedback.
What’s in the Build Back Better Act for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness – And Why It Matters
On November 3, updated bill text was released for the Build Back Better Act, the Biden Administration’s social spending package.
While negotiations continue and the legislation is likely to change before it is finalized, the details provided so far are cause for hope for children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. SchoolHouse Connection strongly supports this legislation, and urges Congress to pass it quickly. We provide a high-level summary of provisions that are most closely related to child, youth, and family homelessness, and why they matter.
On October 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations released its fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) spending bills, which include a proposed 38% increase in funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. The Committee also proposed FY2022 increases for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program and other homelessness programs. Here’s a breakdown.
It is important to remind students that the FAFSA is available so they can pursue postsecondary education with as much financial aid as possible. Direct outreach to unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness is crucial. The email template can be used by liaisons, service providers, and financial aid administrators to inform students experiencing homelessness that the 2022-2023 FAFSA is now available, and specific steps to help them complete the application.
You must fill out a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year that you’re applying for college. If you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of being homeless, you will need to provide additional documentation every year. This resource will help you navigate answering the questions about homelessness and how to request that additional documentation.
This year, more than ever, helping youth complete the FAFSA will take extra attention and effort, but is especially important to help youth achieve future stability through higher education. The 2022-2023 FAFSA is available starting on October 1, 2021. Here are five actions you can take to help homeless and foster youth fill out the FAFSA.
November, both is Children’s Grief Awareness Month and includes National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week. In recognition of these twin tragedies, we interviewed Debra Albo-Steiger, CEO of Children’s Bereavement Center in Miami and former homeless liaison for Miami-Dade Public Schools, about the connection between grief and homelessness, and how school district liaisons can help grieving students.
Evictions, natural disasters, pandemic-related job loss, and increased family stress have the potential to cause unprecedented levels of child, youth, and family homelessness this school year. Here, we break down five facts every educator needs to know about child and youth homelessness and action steps for supporting students as they return to the classroom.
Written by Earl Edwards. “As a researcher, I have spent the past six years analyzing the intersections of youth homelessness and racial inequity and have found that for several reasons, many Black youth are not disclosing their homelessness status, and attempts to identify and support them continue to fall short.” This blog describes how Black community-based organizations are underutilized resources for helping Black youth thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, especially those experiencing homelessness.
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.
In the 2017-18 school year, public schools identified more than 1.5 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.
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 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.
How to Contact your McKinney-Vento Liaison
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, every local educational agency is required to designate a liaison for homeless children and youth. The local educational agency liaison coordinates services to ensure that homeless children and youths enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically.
Click HERE to find the contact information of your local homeless education liaison.
Note: This contact information may change frequently due to staff turnover. If you have problems finding the right school district homeless liaison, please contact your state homeless education coordinator.