Newsletter (December 20, 2023)

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We’re excited to share some of the major issues we addressed in 2023! Explore what we accomplished together in various program areas. For a more in-depth look, delve into our 2023 Year-in-Review.

👶 Early Childhood
Infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children face disproportionate risks of homelessness, which adversely affect their health, development, and future learning. They remain unseen by the public, policymakers, and early childhood programs that could otherwise mitigate the impact of homelessness on child development and connect families to housing and services.

SHC responded to these challenges by:

  • Launching a communications and research project
  • Working with six states to develop action plans
  • Continuing to pilot a referral app
  • Publishing the first-ever state data analysis and policy recommendations on infant and toddler homelessness.
  • Advocating at the state and federal level for stronger policies and more resources
  • Bringing on Sarah Vrabic as SHC’s Senior Early Childhood Program Manager, dedicated exclusively to increasing support for young children experiencing homelessness.

🏆 Early Childhood Progress

🎒 PreK-12
More than 1.2 million children and youth experiencing homelessness were identified by public schools in 2021-22, a 10% increase over the previous year. These students continue to suffer in the aftermath of the pandemic.

SHC responded to these challenges by:

  • Leading national efforts to help state and local educational agencies effectively use pandemic recovery funding (known as American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth” or “ARP-HCY” funds)
  • Directly answering over 500 questions from educators and service providers on a wide range of topics.
  • Supporting the unique and pressing needs of specific populations, including Native American, immigrant, and migrant students.
  • Advocating at the state and federal level for policies and resources to support preK-12 children and youth experiencing homelessness and their families.
  • Co-leading advocacy for the introduction of the Homeless Children and Youth Act.

🏆 PreK-12 Progress

🎓 Higher Education
Approximately 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness on their own every year, facing unique barriers to accessing and completing higher education. Yet, some form of education beyond high school is increasingly necessary to secure employment that pays enough to maintain housing stability. Data shows that between 2019-2020 and 2021-2022, the number of unaccompanied homeless youth Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determinations decreased by 23%, while homeless determinations for the 2021-2022 application cycle increased by 28%.

SHC responded to these challenges by:

  • Leading national efforts to implement the new policies for homeless and foster youth in the FAFSA Simplification Act, the passage of which remains one of SHC’s most significant policy victories.
  • Launching a national homeless higher education liaison network.
  • Partnering with states and state systems to support college students experiencing homelessness.
  • Advocating at the state and federal level for policies and resources to support the transition to and through higher education for youth experiencing homelessness.

🏆 Higher Education Progress

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