News and Updates

 

Stabilizing Families Through a School-Centered Housing Response

This blog is written by Ann Willemssen, Director, UPD Consulting. UPD Consulting, in collaboration with the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development and Baltimore City Schools, recently designed a model program which connects affordable housing opportunities to elementary school families. The work started as an idea by a Baltimore elementary school principal who noticed, while placing his McKinney Vento-identified students into taxi cabs to stay in shelters and on couches across town, that there were vacant homes right across the street that could be put to better use.

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Principles of Youth Engagement

Youth with lived experience are our strongest partners and our greatest resource. They are experts that bring invaluable perspectives, innovative ideas, and critical feedback that informs our practice. If we want to improve our programs, policies, and practices, we must engage as many youth as we can, as often as we can. This document is our effort to document what we have learned, but more importantly what our students have taught us about how to ethically and efficiently engage youth. It is a living document, because as with all of our work at SchoolHouse Connection, ethical youth engagement is a continuous learning process, and we learn and adapt as we go.

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Early Learning Advocacy in Washington State

“Given the alarming number of young children experiencing homelessness outside the K-12 school system in Washington State, we wanted to learn more about how early learning programs can better support these children and their families. We decided to look into identifying and improving state policies and encouraging collaboration between housing and early learning providers.” In this two-part blog, Megan Veith and Katara Jordan, Senior Managers at Building Changes, share activities and learnings through the State Partnerships grant of the Education Leads Home campaign (Part One), and updates and the impacts of COVID-19 on children and families experiencing homelessness in Washington state (Part Two).

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Tax Guidelines for Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants

Taxes can be confusing, especially for young adults who have never had to file taxes before. Yet when beginning college, it is important to learn about and understand how scholarships impact your taxes, so that you are prepared at tax time. There are simple guidelines from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that help you determine if you will claim all or part of your scholarship amounts as income on your taxes, meaning you are required to pay taxes on them.

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Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Students Experiencing Homelessness: How to Make “ESSER II” Funds Work for Your McKinney-Vento Students

This brief provides specific strategies for, and examples of, directing ESSER funds for children and youth experiencing homelessness at the local level. State education agencies should promote these practices by including and prioritizing them in local educational agency (LEA) applications, guidance, and monitoring.

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Economic Stimulus Payments: How to Help Homeless Youth Access Economic Stimulus Payments

Cash going directly to youth experiencing homelessness has been shown to significantly help these youth stabilize and exit homelessness. Economic Stimulus Payments are one way to get cash directly to young people who need it the most. We know that young people and those helping them access these funds have encountered multiple barriers. This tip sheet is the best advice we have received.

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On Passing the Bar and Becoming a Lawyer

“I’ve always known I wanted to be an attorney. My mom used to say I decided that at age seven and stuck with it. And it’s true, through being homeless in high school, and working three jobs in undergrad, to half starving my way through law school, I had one goal: become a lawyer. Then I failed that damn bar exam and it broke me. I didn’t mean to let it, but it did. After overcoming so many hardships, this damn test took me down. And the shame... the shame of knowing that I had what it takes to pass, but hadn’t... The shame of watching all of my friends pass. And the loss... the loss of all that I’d thought I’d be.” In this blog, Bréyon Austin shares how she turned the pain of 2020 into triumph.

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“There’s Much More to Be Done:” Lessons Learned From the First Maryland Higher Education and Youth Homelessness Convening

In mid-December, the Coalition to End Youth Homelessness in Maryland and the University of Maryland - College Park's Fostering Terp Success Program hosted a virtual convening for Maryland higher education institutions and community organizers to discuss new research and best practices for students experiencing homelessness. Here are the key takeaways.

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