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.
Child and youth homelessness is widespread and devastating – but hidden. Education can help break the cycle.
This resource provides an overview of the rights of immigrant, migrant, and undocumented children and youth; strategies and best practices for supporting immigrant and migrant children, youth, and families; and ideas for using American Rescue Plan-Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funds to serve these populations.
The American Rescue Plan Act provided $800 million in funding specifically dedicated to support the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services. These funds, known as American Rescue Plan-Homeless Children and Youth Funds (ARP-HCY), were released in two phases.
The purpose of this checklist is to help guide state decisions in allocating and using state set-aside ARP-HCY funds to best meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
SchoolHouse Connection has compiled the following considerations, strategies, and examples for school district liaisons, transportation coordinators, and others working to support students experiencing homelessness in the pandemic and beyond. We will update this living document with additional strategies and examples that emerge from best practice and federal guidance.
Hidden Homelessness: Why Child, Youth, and Family Homelessness is a Crisis We Cannot Ignore
Through first-person storytelling, the series explores the ways in which homelessness is an equity issue that is inextricably connected to others; it is an experience that many vulnerable student groups face at disproportionate rates and intersects deeply with other national crises of mental health, academic achievement gaps, xenophobia, and the impacts of systemic racism. Our five storytellers — two high school students and three school district homeless liaisons — remind us how the homelessness crisis underlies many others and therefore why federal policies and services for vulnerable children and youth must address the full picture of their lived experiences.
In May 2022, 92 U.S. Representatives signed a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter in support of $800 million in funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, the same amount as provided through a bipartisan amendment to the American Rescue Plan Act. The letter also called for $300 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs. The letter was authored by U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Danny Davis (D-IL).
Postsecondary attainment is increasingly necessary to move out of poverty and homelessness and live a healthy, secure life. However, homeless and foster youth face unique barriers to accessing and completing higher education, including lack of family and supportive adults, histories of neglect, abuse, trauma, mobility, and severe poverty. Four complementary bills will help homeless and foster youth transition successfully to and through higher education, and receive the support they need to complete their degrees and achieve economic independence.
Here are the final comments specific to homeless and foster youth provisions on the 2023-2024 FAFSA. We urge ED to take every possible step to implement these provisions as soon as possible, including incorporating them on the 2023-2024 FAFSA. In particular, we urge that the following FAFSA Simplification changes be reflected on the 2023-2024 FAFSA.
On Wednesday, May 11, SchoolHouse Connection, John Burton Advocates for Youth, and the Youth Law Center, organized a Congressional briefing in collaboration with the Offices of Representative Danny Davis and Senator Bob Casey. Senator Patty Murray was an honorary co-host. Young people with lived experience in the foster care system and with homelessness explained four higher education bills that would have a significant and positive impact on the lives and futures of young people. These young leaders also discussed the need for reform of the Chafee Education and Training Voucher Program and in the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement for federal financial aid.
Written by John C.S. Kepner, advisor to the College Student Basic Needs Program and Trustee Board Member of Gwynedd Mercy University (GMercyU) in suburban Philadelphia. In this blog, John describes his journey of putting together a coalition of community-based organizations to address the problem of food and housing insecurity in GMercyU.
This story originally appeared on the Miami Herald. Roxana Rodriguez-Monzon is a student at Florida International University studying public policy and service, a legislative aid with SchoolHouse Connection and a student temporary employee with non-profit Miami Homes for All.
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 2019-20 school year, public schools identified nearly 1.3 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.