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 …

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Volunteer Days are over for 2016, but you can help make back-to-school cool throughout the year!

These are Katherine’s reflections on Project Cool 2016: Last Wednesday, a volunteer placed the final Project Cool backpack into a case manager’s van and I began to reflect on this year’s Project Cool Volunteer Days. As we transition to the next phase of Project Cool, I am able to appreciate Project’s Cool full year cycle and the breadth of people and communities the program touches. We have enjoyed each Project Cool volunteer day, and I feel lucky to have organized, packed and inventoried supplies alongside such fantastic volunteers! As we look forward to the next few months and connecting to community members through supply drives (want to host one where you work or play? Contact Hillary – hillary[at]homelessinfo[dot]org), we know that 1,417 colorful backpacks will enter the first days of school swung over the shoulders of students ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. Having only joined the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness a few weeks ago, I entered my first volunteer day with enthusiasm, excitement, and a bit of nervous anticipation of the amount of work to be accomplished in just a week. I could not wait to see the weeks of donation and volunteer coordination I had supported, as well as the year-long effort Hillary and Julia contributed to Project Cool, come to bloom! My expectations were surpassed and my qualms eased by the awesome volunteers that arrived with enthusiasm for each shift. I feel hopeful for the future of the children that Project Cool serves after discussing many volunteers’ commitment to ending homelessness. Over the past week I learned more fully how raising a child can require mobilization from an entire community. Participants demonstrated how volunteering quickly builds community amongst initial strangers. Participants bonded over their passion for service to form productive, fun work teams. For many of …

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Recap: Families with Children Meeting – KidsPlus Training and Coordinated Entry for All – June 22, 2016

Big thanks to all who were able to join us for last month’s Families with Children committee meeting. As always, it was great to see a room full of familiar and new faces! We were joined by Mary Dunbar from Kids Plus (Public Health – Seattle & King County), who offered a training on working with guests to address their mental health needs. Danielle Winslow (All Home) provided timely Coordinated Entry for All updates with the group. Highlights and resources from these two folks are below: A list of mental health services available for children can be found here. The YMCA also operates the Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System (CCORS), which offers urgent crisis outreach as well as short-term stabilization resources to children and youth in King County, as well as their families. King County Mental Health’s wraparound services offer additional supports to children to help stabilize them in the community. More information and application processes for this program can be found on the King County website. Adults and folks of all ages can access mental health services at the locations listed on this document. The Crisis Clinic is an excellent resource for folks to call if in need of immediate crisis help, and they also provide information about suicide warning signs and crisis intervention strategies. King County Crisis and Commitment Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide initial outreach services to folks not already accessing outpatient care in King County as well as evaluation of people with mental disorders for possible involuntary detention in psychiatric facilities according to the mental illness law in the State of Washington. Throughout King County and the state of Washington, low-cost and free clinics are available for folks to access mental and physical healthcare needs. Mary suggests looking into Consejo, Cornerstone, and Project Access Northwest …

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Project Cool 2015 is in full swing! Learn about easy ways to get involved, and mark your calendar for Volunteer Days.

This is an exciting time of year: flowers are blooming, days are longer, and Project Cool for Back-to-School is in full swing!!! I have been waiting for Project Cool since I joined the Coalition back in September and am so excited it is finally here.  The work to make sure that students start off the school year with a new backpack and school supplies, just like their peers, is very important and further enhanced by the Understanding Homeless Students’ Educational Rights guide that each student receives. I know that Project Cool would not be possible without the support, work, and some sweat while stuffing backpacks of our awesome Coalition supporters and volunteers and I’m looking forward to working with you this year. Ready to get involved? see how below! Ready… Set… Go! Here are 5 ways you can get involved: Supply Drives. Now is a great time to start your own supply drive, and encourage others to do the same. You can use this Project Cool Supply Drive Flyer (with Wish List). Contact me if you’d like a tailored flyer. We hope you have fun with them, too — there are so many ways to be creative and think outside the box. For example, Northwest Honkers Baseball is set up to ask their game day patrons to donate school supplies in lieu of a gate fee during summer games.  RSVP to let me know if you can host a supply drive in the Spring or Fall.  Dental Donations. We need your help to reach out to Dentists for floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste donations. Do you have an upcoming dentist appointment, or is there a nearby dentist office in your community? Use our Dentist Letter to ask your personal or local dentist to donate supplies to Project Cool. Encourage your work, community group, bank, or faith organization …

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Families with Children Committee: Back-to-school reports and the future of joint FWC-FHI meetings

Our Families with Children (FWC) Committee gathered in September to discuss the future of its new quarterly joint meeting with the Committee to End Homelessness’ Family Homelessness Initiative. They also reported back on the start of the new school year for the students who are homeless that they serve. Here are some brief notes from the discussion: HOW DID START OF SCHOOL GO FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO STUDENTS? Please be sure to e-mail rebecca[at]homelessinfo[dot]org with your back-to-school experience(s). Backlog of enrollment paperwork In Seattle, had students who didn’t go the first 2 days of school because of this. Others said the first two days of school had VERY fast turn-around re: paperwork, but slowed significantly after that. Transportation Reports of buses  being 1.5 hours late – A. Moon (Mary’s Place) Reports of taxis being 2 hours late – A.Moon (Mary’s Place) Case Manager said she went above and beyond to verify and confirm – multiple times – that the orders were correct. And still, these delays happened. She even had a taxi with incorrect orders and wouldn’t take the student to the correct school! In West Seattle, it took one week to get a bus to pick up a student. Safety concerns of younger students being assigned ORCA cards instead of a taxi or bus No one reported ORCA card issues (e.g., then not being loaded) Multiple people reported having concerns and questions around the 1-mile rule  (i.e., no transportation, must walk). Case Manager said that 2-mile rule for homeless families who live in Queen Anne is quite difficult. There is a much greater impact of this rule for families who are homeless Proactive and flexible engagement from Liaison Liaison w/ Lowel (school) came to provider to talk through McK-V and connect with families. SUPER HELPFUL In class/Teacher issues Parent said middle-school aged son was marked down …

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Resources from our “Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101” workshop

Help and support signpostWe had such a great turnout at our “Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101” workshop on August 26, 2014, and we hope you found the topic just as engaging and informative as we do. As promised, here is a list of resources our wonderful presenter, Katara Jordan from Columbia Legal Services, put together to navigate common hurdles that prevent homeless students and their families from accessing the valuable services they need to get to and stay in school.

Basic Education Rights and Opportunities in Public Schools

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_basic_education_rights.pdf

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_basic_education_rights_spanish.pdf

How to be an Education Advocate

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_education_advocate.pdf

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_education_advocate_spanish.pdf

Protecting the Educational Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Schools

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_students_with_disabilities.pdf

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_students_with_disabilities_spanish.pdf

Ombudsman’s services

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/2a_english.pdf

Other general information including the above handouts:

http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/default.asp

Serving Students Experiencing Homelessness under Title I

http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/titlei.pdf

What Service Providers Should Know

http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/service_providers.pdf

Washington HomelessYouth.org Project

http://homelessyouth.org/washington

 

Register today — ‘Helping Homeless Students’ workshop

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101 workshop Tuesday, August 26, 9.00 – 11.15 a.m. Highline College in Des Moines, WA FREE, but pre-registration required! The Coalition’s “Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101” workshop is designed for school staff, nurses, and case managers to provide an overview of educational rights and common issues for homeless students. Presented by Katara Jordan, attorney with Columbia Legal Services, this workshop will introduce the federal McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, which promotes educational stability, school access, support for academic success, and child-centered decision-making for homeless youth, children, and families. In addition to providing a better understanding of the law, we intend this workshop to serve as a timely, informative, and collaborative platform between school staff and community-based case managers to work together effectively to support homeless students and their families. We’ll cover the basics, and address common thorny issues related to enrollment and transportation; working with unaccompanied youth; and participation in after-school activities. Together we’ll problem-solve and share ideas and strategies for back-to-school and throughout the school year. By the time you leave the training, you should have both a solid understanding of the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, and valuable sources of information and professional resources to turn to within your local community, your school district, in Washington, and nationally to aid in your work to reach homeless youth at schools. We are excited to bring staff from Coalition member agencies together with local public school staff to learn about the educational rights of homeless students, and how to support them at the start of the new school year. Please help us spread the word, and register today! Note: Registration priority will be given to Coalition members and staff at local public schools.  

Families with Children Committee: Resources Share from the July 23 meeting

Our Families with Children (FWC) Committee held a Resource Share at their July 23 meeting. Why? Because committee members bring incredible skills, experience, and knowledge to the table each time they meet. Resource shares are a good way to problem-solve and brainstorm, as well as share new (or forgotten) information.  The Co-chairs asked that each member come to the meeting with something to share to enrich the discussion — specialized resources, handouts, contacts, websites or whatever has been helpful. Here’s what the group came up with this time around… Child Care Resources (CCR): CCR’s homeless subsidy program to cover all costs of any licensed child care provider, financial assistance program for suburban cities (including Bellevue, Renton, Kent) – these programs are designed to help families who are not eligible for DSHS services. Additionally, CCR’s information and referral line is helpful for staff and families. Call 1-800-446-1114 to speak with staff who can help families locate licensed childcare providers that meet their specific needs/criteria. They can also do a free search online (click the register button to begin a search if not already a user). City of Seattle Child Care program – this program does not currently have a waitlist; parents in school (and not working) are eligible; the program will pay for ESL classes; great long-term solution, but program only pays partial cost. Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) – Families who receive Basic Food Assistance (SNAP) are eligible for this program. It also applies to folks who attend any community or technical college in Washington State, and partners with Farestart and Goodwill programs. Even if the program runs out of money at each quarter, parents can still get assistance with childcare. Families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are ineligible for this program. Public Health – Kids Plus – Kids plus is a program that meets the unique needs of families who are referred by connecting them to …

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