Youth Connection: Resources for K-12 and College Students
Here you will find resources written by students, for students, that are designed to help you succeed in K-12, higher education, and life. Resources address topics such as understanding homeless definitions, getting help with financial aid (including COVID-19 relief), accessing child care, reviewing a lease, choosing and buying a cell phone plan, and more.
Meet Dez. She experienced homelessness as a high school student, and she knows the importance of school and how it can lead to a better life. And she wants other students living without a permanent home to know: education is their right, whether they live with family or on their own.
If you are staying temporarily with someone else because you had to leave your home, or staying in a motel, campground, shelter, or in an outside or inadequate place, you have special rights at your school (elementary, middle, and high school).
Those rights include:
- Staying in the same school even if you move, and receiving transportation to that school, as long as it is in your best interest
- Enrolling in school immediately without the documents schools usually require, and without a parent or guardian
- Receiving free school meals
- Getting help with school supplies, including what is needed to participate in distance learning and other needs
To get help accessing K-12 education, contact your school district’s local homeless education liaison to find out if you qualify for help, or ask a counselor, teacher, or other trusted adult to connect you to the liaison. Every school district is required to designate a local homeless education liaison, who is responsible for helping children and youth experiencing homelessness and connecting them with relevant local resources.
*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.
If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, or in need of medical, emotional, or physical support, please see this list of national hotlines that provide an array of services. All hotlines listed are national hotlines providing 24/7 support across the United States.
Getting a Tax Refund
Simple steps to help you file your taxes for free and maximize your tax refund.
Applying for the FAFSA
This page will help you navigate the FAFSA as an unaccompanied homeless youth
“While my road hasn’t always been smooth, I have learned how to adapt and make adjustments on the way, while staying focused on my goals. No matter what we face in life, we should never allow anyone to write our stories. Our futures are an open book, and we each have the ability to take control of our futures and make our futures exactly what we want. And, when we hit snags along the way, which we will, we can create our own detours without compromising who we are or what we want to accomplish.”
– Anthony, SHC Scholar, currently enrolled at the University of Los Angeles.
Click HERE for more Youth Voices.
Our Names are Dez, Lorinda, and Jose: Navigating Homelessness During COVID-19
“I would say that we’re all going through the pandemic, everyone from the students and professors to the admin. Obviously, the situation is chaotic, which merits empathy on all fronts. But I would say I’ve had professors who’ve been more flexible, but also some who have not been. So for students, I would say it is okay to self-advocate and demand greater flexibility for some type of solution to a COVID- related problem, even if it was out of the professor’s hands. For example, I had a test that I had taken and ended up with a score I was not happy with. However, the closure of the academic buildings meant the test was locked away inside and I would not be able to understand why I got that grade. So I had to reach out to the professor and we were able to agree that we could review it in the fall and potentially get my overall grade adjusted if I found an issue in the grading. So even though this pandemic is inconvenient for everyone, we shouldn’t be afraid as students to advocate for some type of solution to its negative consequences.”
– Lorinda, SHC Scholar, currently enrolled at Georgetown University
Click HERE for more Youth Voices.