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.
On July 15th, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations committee passed its fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) spending bill, which includes proposed increases to the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, Health, and Human Services, and other federal agencies.
On July 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) made available a brief application for states to apply for $600 million specifically to support the school identification, enrollment, participation, and success of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
This is the second disbursement of funds through the American Rescue Plan Act; the first disbursement of $200 million (ARP Homeless I) was made available on April 23, 2021.
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Reauthorization Successfully Passes Out of Senate Committee
On June 10, 2021, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Reauthorization Act (CAPTA) of 2021 reauthorization was passed via voice vote by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. This legislation, S. 1927, was re-introduced on May 27, 2021 by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). Here’s a summary.
Overview of U.S. Department of Education Guidance on American Rescue Plan Act Homeless Children and Youth Funding
This is a quick overview of the timing, allocation, and uses of funds of the American Rescue Plan homeless children and youth funding.
Supporting Young Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness with American Rescue Plan Act Funds
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), Congress’ most recent package for COVID-19 relief, includes billions of dollars dedicated to infants, toddlers, and children under the age of six. In addition to the $800 million in education funding included for identifying and supporting children and youth experiencing homelessness, there are opportunities across other funding streams to target supports for young children and families experiencing homelessness. This document provides recommendations for home visiting, child care providers, head start and early head start programs, and local education agencies.
Navigating the American Rescue Plan Act’s Relief for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness
The American Rescue Plan Act provides significant new resources to meet the education, early care, food, housing, and other basic needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. This navigation tool is designed to help early care, educators, and service providers navigate the major funding streams and connect with local and state agencies to help families and youth access assistance.
The American Rescue Plan: Building the Bridge to Education and Beyond for Students Experiencing Homelessness
“I can remember being a young teen, living with my mother and six siblings and being locked out of the house until the early hours of the morning on multiple occasions. Abuse was prevalent in my home and trying to navigate school with honors and AP Courses throughout this experience was next to impossible. Eventually, the abuse became so bad that I had no choice but to flee.”
“Wherever I stayed and whoever I stayed with, regardless of their intent, if they learned about my sexuality, it still put me in the vulnerable position of unstable and inconsistent housing; and when I was already vulnerable, I felt like I needed to obscure that side of me as a means of exercising control in my life over what little I had authority: the story that I presented to others.” In this powerful blog, SHC Young Leader Brandon Plowman discusses the complexity of homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
Written by Vikki C. Terrile, Librarian and Assistant Professor, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, Bayside, NY. “Libraries are often a lifeline for families in homeless situations. Prior to the pandemic, they were the place where kids and parents could come to use computers, access services, attend programs, and of course, read and borrow books and other materials. For families staying in shelters or other settings that required them to leave during the day, libraries were likely the only safe indoor space they could visit that didn’t cost money while also offering a wide range of services and amenities.”
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.