Helping Homeless Students: McKinney Vento 101 Info & Resource Session for Homeless Service Providers

Thank you to everyone who attended our Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101 Information and Resource Session on Thursday September 3. A huge thank you to Kayla Blau, Mehret Tekle-Awarun, Samie Iverson, Oliver Alexander-Adams, Karen Pillar, Sharonne Navas and Jessyca Murphy for sharing their knowledge and passion with us. We appreciate the lively conversation had in the chat box and out loud during the workshop.

You can review some of the tools and resources discussed at the information session below. If you have questions or wish to provide additional materials to this collection, please email your questions to Jason.

Read about Education Rights for Homeless and Unstably Housed Students, which includes our updated 2020-2021 King County McKinney Vento Liaison list.

Building Changes

Click here to view Building Changes’ PowerPoint presentation.
  • Mehret Tekle-Awarun and Samie Iverson shared information about Schoolhouse Washington, a project of Building Changes. In partnership with the Raikes Foundation, they have created the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund to augment existing public dollars that will be used to support students, youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Building Changes will distribute funds to help organizations, schools, and local tribes meet needs that may otherwise be difficult to fulfill or sustain without additional assistance. 
  • Student Needs Survey: To identify homeless students most immediate needs, Schoolhouse Washington also surveyed McKinney-Vento liaisons across the state who work directly with highly mobile students and their families. In return, they received responses from liaisons in 74 school districts across 32 counties who collectively serve nearly 17,000 students experiencing homelessness in Washington State. Click here to review the findings of their study.
  • The top five needs identified by survey respondents were: food, mobile hotspots/internet access, devices (e.g. laptops, tablets, computers, phones), hygiene supplies, and rental assistance. Narrative responses shed light on what school districts are doing to try to meet basic needs, increase educational access, and stay connected with students and their families. Some promising practices have emerged, such as the formation of new and creative community partnerships. However, just as illuminating are issues and student populations that did not show up in survey responses, such as equity, English language learners, students living with disabilities, and survivors of domestic violence.
  • Read the summary of their findings here.


  • Their mission is to uphold the rights of youth involved, or at risk of being involved, in the juvenile justice system to help them secure the education, healthcare, housing and other supports they need to achieve positive outcomes in their life. If you would like to request  assistance, please complete this referral form or call toll free (877) 295-2714
  • Karen Pillar, staff attorney with TeamChild helped us review legal rights afforded to homeless school age children, including questions related to attendance and tips for navigating the school district conflict resolution process. They have produced an Education in the Wake of COVID-19 Know Your Rights Manual for more information on this topic.

Equity In Education Coalition

  • The Equity in Education Coalition (EEC) is a statewide civil rights organization focused on revolutionizing education so that a child’s race and zip code aren’t the predicating factors in defining their success. They envision a future where the opportunity gap is eliminated in Washington State – a future where every child of color in Washington achieves success from birth through their careers. To achieve this vision, EEC continues to build a movement of power within communities of color to advocate for an education system that promotes equity. Click here to learn more about their work.
  • EEC is hosting a mask fundraiser to support their work to undo institutionalized racism in the education system, click here to learn more.
  • Sharrone Navas shared information about the Washington’s Address Confidentiality Program (ACP),  a records protection and mail forwarding service. Passed by legislature in 1991, ACP is used as part of an overall safety plan to prevent perpetrators from locating participants throughout public records such as driver licenses, voter registries and marriage records. Washington’s Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) has helped protect survivors of crime for more than 25 years. The program is available to Washington residents who are targets of stalking, domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. In 2011, the ACP expanded to include criminal justice employees who have been threatened or harassed because of their work. Currently, the ACP serves more than 4,500 Washingtonians. Washington’s ACP was the first program of its kind in the nation. Today some 35 other states have established similar programs.

Path with Art

  • A Seattle based nonprofit dedicated to healing transformation through art and art therapy. Their mission is to connect with those carrying various form of trauma and harness the power of creative engagement as a bridge to community and a path to stability. Check out some of their free remote offerings here.
  • Path with Art is interested in partnering with family service providers to bringing remote enrichment opportunities to families with children experiencing homelessness in King County. If your program is interested, please complete this survey or email Jessyca Murphy.  

Coalition on Homelessness Updates

  • Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT): A one-time food voucher available to families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the school they attend. Families with children eligible for free and reduced-price meals may be able to receive as much as $399 per child in this benefit. This benefit does not consider immigration status and is not subject to the Public Charge Rule. Application deadline Friday September 11, for more information please review these training materials.
  • Census 2020: The 2020 Census is underway, and under attack. The Federal Government is threatening to intentionally not include all residents in the final reported count, and the deadline for data collection has been arbitrarily shortened from October 31 to September 30. When in Doubt, Count. For those without a traditional address, the census will be conducting Service Based Enumeration to survey people at locations such as overnight shelter programs and meal sites from September 22 to September 24. If you work for a program that provides services to people experiencing homelessness, and you have not been contacted by the Census Bureau, we want to help. Please take two minutes to fill this survey so we can help ensure your residents and guests get counted.
  • Monthly Meeting Reminder: In addition to hosting workshops for service providers, The Coalition on Homelessness also hosts monthly membership meetings on the third Thursday of every month from 9am to 11am via Zoom. These meetings are a space to learn about topics relevant to staff working directly with clients, residents, tenants, and guests experiencing homelessness, discuss current homeless services and housing issues, speak up and take part in advocacy, and network with colleagues and allies from around King County. Our next meeting is on Thursday, September 17 at 9am, click here to register.

April 16, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting

Thank you for joining our meeting!
Sign up for Coalition emails to make sure you receive updates and notice of upcoming meetings.

Recording of April 16, 2020 General Membership Meeting

Agenda for Thursday, April 16 meeting

  • 9:00 – Introduction and welcome
  • Poetry reading by Anitra Freeman
  • Coalition Solidarity Fund
  • Coalition on Homelessness COVID-19 Homeless Service Change Tracker
  • Food Assistance Update
  • Seattle City Councilmember Gonzalez’s Bills
    • Vy Nguyen, Legislative Aide to Seattle City Councilmember Lorena González
      • CB 119761 will create another defense to eviction due to nonpayment over the next six months (such as temporary loss of income, etc.)
      • CB 119762 will require landlords to accept payment plans for back rent
  • Statewide Eviction Moratorium Extension
    • Xochitl Maykovich, Political Director, Washington Community Action Network
    • Updates to the temporary moratorium on evictions
  • Public Benefits: COVID-19 Related Changes to State Public Assistance Programs
  • COVID-19 Public Health Information
  • Coalition Staff Updates
    • Advocacy work on hygiene stations
    • Census 2020
    • Veterans Assistance Programs
  • HOLD Thursday April 30, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (sign up for Coalition emails for notice of upcoming meetings)
  • Next Monthly Membership Meeting: Thursday, May 21, 9:00 a.m. via Zoom (Please register for call).

Resources from the meeting


Public Benefits COVID-19 Related Changes

Additional Resources

Important COVID-19 Public Health Resources

  • Here are a few important resources for you and your staff to be aware of (hopefully you already are!). Visit the Healthcare for the Homeless Network COVID website for more information:
    • COVID Listserv: Every service provider should make sure to sign up for the County’s email listserv by emailing the email or visiting to receive timely and important updates.
    • email – if you have any questions or need support, email this email.If you want Public Health to come out to your site to provide support in helping you set up well, include FAST team request in the subject line.
    • Wednesday 2-3pm meetings for homeless service providers hosted by Public Health
      • We highly encourage one lead staff person from each agency to participate, and then be responsible for disseminating information within your organization. These calls happen every Wednesday from 2-3pm. You can get call information online here.
  • Tuesday & Thursday 11am Q&A calls with Public Health: These calls provide the opportunity for homeless service providers to share questions and get answers from King County staff about COVID-19. To see meeting details and specific topics (sometimes they are general, sometimes more specific), click here.
  • Thursday 12pm Homeless Outreach Provider Calls with Public Health: These calls are an opportunity for Outreach Workers to come together to share best practices and get updates on the ever developing COVID-19. To see meeting details, click here.
  • COVID Hotline: 206-477-3977 If you believe someone at your worksite is showing symptoms of coronavirus, or if you have questions about how your program should respond we encourage you to reach out. If you are seeking assistance for someone experiencing homelessness, please say so at the beginning of the call so the operators know how best to direct your call.
  • Additional resources, including a recently revised copy of the Sanitation and Hygiene Standards Guide can be found on the Healthcare for the Homeless website. We encourage you to check this site regularly as information is being updated.

Coalition Zoom 101 tips to help you feel prepared –

  1. We will provide the Zoom call registration link ahead of time via email and on our website. Visit our website and join our email list:
  2. “Introduce” yourself by re-naming your Zoom name to include your name and organization (click the three dots in the upper right corner of your video/name box)
  3. Folks are muted upon entering our calls to allow folks to hear presenters and limit background noise, with the ability to unmute yourself.
  4. If you will be joining us via phone, please email Coalition staff to inform us. To switch between mute and unmute, press *6.
  5. The chat box is a great way to engage in conversation during the call with the host and other participants – ask questions, share information and resources. We may not have time to answer the questions that come through in the chat box during the call; however, we will do our best to follow up.
  6. We welcome feedback on our Zoom meetings! If you would like, contact the Coalition with any positive and constructive thoughts.

Seattle/King County Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Homeless Service Providers

**We are no longer updating this blog post. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources page for the most up-to-date Coalition resources.**

UPDATE: To find COVID-19 resources for homeless service providers, including an online tool to report positive cases at your program, please visit

(Last Updated: April 2, 2020 at 4 p.m.)

This blog contains information about COVID-19 and resources for housing and homelessness service providers. Information about calls and webinars are at the top of this post, helpful documents are below.

Please visit Public Health Seattle-King County’s website ( or Public Health’s blog for general COVID-19 updates and information. Please visit Healthcare for the Homeless Network’s website for Homeless Provider specific information and documents.

Public Health Seattle-King County is working closely with the WA State Department of Health and tracking information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Our goal is to ensure that homeless services and housing providers and advocates have timely and accurate information and resources to help you do your work well.

IMPORTANT: Direct Homeless Service Providers should email to get on their distribution list for calls, important documents, and timely updates.

Novel Coronavirus Call Center: 206-477-3977, hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily

  • Tell the call center you work at a homeless service providing organization, or are with someone who is homeless who is showing symptoms (or has tested positive/awaiting results) – their phone tree will get you to somebody specific to provide support.
  • Call if you are in King County and believe you were exposed to COVID-19—or if you’re a healthcare or service provider with COVID-19 questions.


Changing or reducing services or hours at your agency?

If your agency is reducing or modifying any of your services as a result of COVID-19, please notify Public Health at and let the Coalition know as well at so that we can better track and coordinate available resources.


**For most up-to-date call and meeting information, please visit King County’s Public Health’s COVID-19 Homelessness Response calendar**

Q&A Call for Homeless Service Providers – Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

These calls provide the opportunity for homeless service providers to share questions or concerns with King County staff about sanitation/hygiene or interim COVID guidance. These calls are open to all staff of homeless service agencies. Join via Skype online or by Phone206.263.8114, conference ID 9410150.

It is recommend that you watch the webinar recording from Public Health to go over Sanitation and Hygiene Guide, with a special focus on COVID-19, then bring any questions you have to the call.

Weekly Homeless Service Provider Call with Public Health – Every Wednesday, 2 p.m – 3 p.m.

  • What: A weekly check-in regarding Coronavirus. The goal is to coordinate our efforts to support and protect people living homeless. 
  • When: Weekly Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. March 11 through April 1 (or as needed).
  • Who: This call is intended for key staff at homeless service provider agencies, Seattle King County Public Health’s (SKCPH), Health Care for the Homeless Network (HCHN), the City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) and King County’s Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). Please identify one lead staff person from each agency to participate, and then be responsible for disseminating information within your organization. This will allow for a manageable number of people to be on the call, to ask questions, and to get answers.
  • How to get call-in information: Email King County staff:

– Homeless Outreach Provider Call – Every Thursday, 12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m.

These calls are an opportunity for Outreach Workers to come together to share best practices and get updates on the ever developing COVID-19. Join via Skype online or by Phone 206.263.8114, conference ID 1691673.


Public Health Guidance: Please visit Public Health’s website for the most current versions and more information

Seattle-King County Public Health has released updated COVID-19 interim guidance for homeless service providers – thank you to all who provided input. These documents are updated often – instead of saving a PDF to reference for weeks, make sure that your team is checking the updated website daily to get the most up-to-date documents.

The following guidance documents made available on 4/1/2020:


Sanitation and Hygiene Documents and Resources:

  • Sanitation and Hygiene Guide for Homeless Service Providers
    • This guide is for operations, staff, volunteers, clients, and residents who are involved in the day-to-date operations of shelters, tiny home villages, day and hygiene centers, as well as other direct service programs for people experiencing homelessness. The purpose of this guide is to reduce the spread of contagious diseases, prevent food-borne illnesses, and to ensure safe and sanitary spaces for individuals experiencing homelessness.
    • See webinar recording here at bottom of page from Friday 3/6/2020 webinar about the guide with COVID-19 focus.
    • Please pay particular attention to the following sections:
      • Disease Prevention  – Page 5
      • Hygiene – Page 9
      • Food Safety – Page 17
      • Sanitize & Disinfect – Page 21 & Page 22
  • Sanitation & Hygiene Assessment Tool for Homeless Shelters, Day Centers, Villages, and Encampments
    • This document helps to ensure the health and safety of clients, staff, and volunteers, and to determine if additional support is needed to meet minimum sanitation and hygiene standards.
  • Stop Germs, Stay Healthy! Hand washing posters are available in 22 languages.

For further information on the Coronavirus disease, please visit: