News and Updates

 

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.

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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.

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Congressional Hearing Held on Reengaging Students Experiencing Homelessness and Students in Foster Care

On May 19, 2021, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing entitled, “Picking up the Pieces: Strengthening Connections with Students Experiencing Homelessness and Children in Foster Care.” The hearing focused on the need for intensive efforts to re-engage students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care, and how funds included in the American Rescue Plan Act can be utilized in these efforts.

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Legislation Increasing Access to Child Care Reintroduced in U.S. Senate

On April 22, 2021, the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA) was reintroduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the U.S. Senate and by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The CCWFA amends the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and the Head Start Act to increase access to high quality early learning services by improving the quality and supply of child care services and preschool programs, incentivizing a highly skilled child care workforce, and lowering child care costs for working families.

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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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