News and Updates

 

New Guidance on ARP Housing, Higher Education, and Head Start Funding

Over the past week, several federal agencies released guidance for funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Specifically, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued revised guidance for rental assistance; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notice on Emergency Housing Vouchers; the U.S. Department of Education released funds and issued guidance for the ARP Higher Education Emergency Relief funds, and the Office of Head Start issued guidance on use of ARP Head Start funding. We’ve summarized key takeaways for educators and service providers.

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As Communities Reopen, Remember the Library

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."

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Bipartisan Legislation to Help Homeless Children and Youth Reintroduced

On April 29, 2021, the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act (S.1469) was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). This bipartisan legislation corrects long-standing flaws in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homeless assistance for children, youth, and families.

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The Pursuit of Education: A Story of Homelessness, Perseverance, and the Impact of Caring Educators

By SchoolHouse Connection's Scholar Jahnee S.. "I was 8 years old when I first experienced homelessness. Homelessness then became a struggle that my family and I couldn’t escape. I experienced standing in the snow, hoping my family and I had a place to sleep on a church floor; how packed and unsanitary emergency shelters are, as I got lice within two days of staying there; how “The Florida Project” brought me flashbacks to the many months my family lived in motels, and how I viewed peers with “the basic necessities” with such envy."

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How to Use American Rescue Plan Act K-12 Education Funds to Identify and Support Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), Congress’ most recent package for COVID-19 relief, provides nearly $123 billion in aid for K-12 education through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). This resource provides recommendations on how state agencies, schools, and districts can use ARP funds for students experiencing homelessness.

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Students Experiencing Homelessness in ARP ESSER Plans

On April 21, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released its State plan template, which requires state educational agencies (SEAs) to describe how they will utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) fund to safely reopen schools and provide students with the necessary support. This document details some of the areas that states and school districts must consider the inclusion of students experiencing homelessness.

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