Understanding the Critical Link between Homeless Service

Understanding the Critical Link
between Homeless Service Providers
and the Educational System
Cloudburst Consulting Group – Landover, MD &
Project Community Connections – Atlanta, GA
Session Objectives
Understand new HEARTH requirements and their impact
on McKinney-Vento Ed programs and practitioners
Understand the barriers and facilitative factors in
accessing preschool for families in homelessness and how
homeless service providers and educators can help in
addressing these issues
Explore strategies for helping to strengthen the
connection between homeless services and LEAs in
supporting early childhood education and enrollment
Self-Introductions – Session Presenters
Chuck Kieffer, Director
Cloudburst Consulting Group
Ann Arbor, MI
Kate Hurd, Analyst
Cloudburst Consulting Group
Atlanta, GA
Margaret Schuelke, Executive Director
Project Community Connections, Inc.
Atlanta, GA
HEARTH Act: Overview and History
July 2012
HUD publishes CoC Program
interim rule establishing the
requirements for applying for
and administering funds and
the regulatory implementation
of responsibilities
May 2009
HEARTH Act Amends and
reauthorizes the McKinneyVento Homelessness Assistance
Act with several changes
Jan 2011
HUD publishes “Notice on
Limitation on Use of Funds to
serve Persons Defined as
Homeless Under Other
Federal Laws”
HEARTH Act: How It Impacts You
It impacts you because HUD Homeless Assistance Programs provide
important services to help stabilize homeless children, youth, and
families, thereby contributing to educational success.
The final rule on the Definition of Homeless establishes four
categories under which an individual or family may qualify as
1. Literally Homeless
2. Imminent Risk of Homelessness.
3. Homeless under other Federal Statutes
4. Fleeing/Attempting to Flee DV
HEARTH Act: How It Impacts You
Statutory Requirements
The Continuum of Care (CoC)Applicant must demonstrate
collaboration with education agencies.
The CoC must consider the educational needs of children and not
disrupt children’s education.
Project applicants must demonstrate practices consistent with
McKinney –Vento Act.
Applicants must designate staff to ensure children are enrolled in school
and connected to services.
CoCs must involve schools in governance and responsibilities.
How You Can Help Strengthen the
HUD grantees can:
Connect with state coordinator and education liaisons
Learn local and state education laws and services including
Title I, special education and early childhood education in their
ED grantees can:
Connect with CoC lead agency and providers
Learn about the various housing resources offered in your
community (e.g. CoC, ESG, SC2, HOME, FUP, PHAs)
Engage with HUD to assist with your plan to collaborate with
federal housing programs
How You Can Help Strengthen the
Point in Time
(PIT) count and
cumulative annual
assurances policy
and procedures
Data sharing/
In Service
Understand the Barriers to Connecting
Housing and Education
Positive outcomes require that we are all partners in child
and youth services.
New Opportunities Linked to Interim ESG &
CoC Rules
New ESG & CoC
rules strengthen
role of CoC in
shaping local public
sector allocations
and decision-making
New CoC rules
strengthen role of
CoC membership in
defining structure,
governance, and
Increased opportunity to
influence the investment
of homeless funding and
to shape homeless
programming so that
children’s educational
interests and concerns
might be better addressed
through exploitation of
these new rules and tools
Homeless Families, Preschool
Enrollment, and Housing
Summary Overview of a Project in Process:
HUD/PDR-funded Research Study
Small Grants Linked to Large Scale National Study of Family
Housing Options (funded by HUD Office of PDR)
National random selection study on The Impact of Housing and
Services Interventions on Homeless Families (over 2,400 households)
Small grants intended to explore related issues impacting children
and families
Impetus for Research Question
Children comprise major portion of persons in homeless households
-- and more than half are pre-school age or younger
Fewer than 16% of eligible pre-school aged children are enrolled
Little evidence that national policies have helped address the barriers
that homeless families face in enrolling children in early education
Significance of Approach
Little prior examination of the specific issues and challenges
that must be addressed to support increased participation of
children from homeless or recently homeless families in
preschool opportunities
Qualitative approach helps get “inside” the experience of
homeless families who are pursuing preschool needs
Findings will be broadly disseminated to key community and
systems leaders to help advance policy and practice that
more effectively promotes both preschool participation and
housing stability
How do homeless families
experience preschool
enrollment, and what
interrelated effects do various
barriers, supports, and
systemic structures have on
the pathways linking housing
stability and preschool
Research Design
• Households enrolled in the national Family
Options study
• 2 sites (Georgia & Connecticut)
• All households with preschool aged
children at the time of study are eligible
• Round 1 – Mailings to eligible participants
• Round 2 – Follow up phone calls, email
and mailings
• Provision of small “stipend” (gift cards)
and child care support (where needed)
Data Collection & Analysis
• Round 1: Focus groups and individual in-depth
• Round 2: Individual in-depth interviews based on
Round 1 data
• Analysis of Baseline Data from Family Options Study
• Environmental Scan
• Semi-structured focus group and interview guides
• Open ended discussion framework
Overview of Research Process
Literature Review,
Study Design &
Data Collection:
Round 1
Initial Data
Analysis: Round 1
Full Data Analysis
Data Collection:
Round 2
Round 1 Insights: Emerging Themes
situational barriers
to preschool
High level of
awareness of and
commitment to
the importance of
preschool options
(vs. child care)
Homeless service
system insufficient
in supporting
families in
Preschool system
falls short in
outreach and in
helping parents in
navigating the
Emerging Themes: Situational Barriers
Transportation & Scheduling
Parents’ work schedules vs. children’s school schedules
Absence of access to transportation
Location of housing & employment vs. siting of preschool options
Slots & Supports
Need for full-day care
Few slots available
Shortage of tuition subsidies
Poor access to information on available slots
Poor access to information on tuition supports
Other Situational Concerns
Parental focus on search for housing & reality of housing instability
Parental focus on search for employment & reality of need for jobs
Emerging Themes: Parental Commitment
High level of parental investment in access to preschool
(vs. child care)
High level of recognition of value of early childhood education
Clear capacity to distinguish between early learning and child
High level of parental investment in “quality” educational
High level of parental recognition of characteristics of quality
Emerging Themes: Homeless Service System
Homeless Service Providers frequently fail to provide
needed supports to parents and families
Lack of attention to children’s needs
Lack of knowledge of preschool & child care systems, or
related systems for financial support
Lack of commitment to providing parental supports
Lack of investment in engaging with broader early childhood
system – including McKinney-Vento Liasons
Lack of support in helping homeless parents bridge the gaps
exacerbated by housing instability
Emerging Themes: Preschool Systems
Preschool system falls short in providing active outreach
and supports for homeless households
Poor outreach to homeless subpopulations
Apparent lack of commitment to addressing challenges faced
by homeless households
DeKalb Kids Home Collaborative
Overview of Kids Home Collaborative
Key elements of initiative
(See http://www.pccihome.org/)
Strategies for building partnerships
Key themes in strengthening connections between
schools and the homeless provider system
Group Discussion
Group Discussion
Experiences working
with homeless
services and early
childhood providers
Lessons learned
in working with
Challenges for
practice and
Contact Information
Cloudburst Consulting Group
Chuck Kieffer
[email protected]
Kate Hurd
[email protected]
Project Community Connections, Inc.
 Margaret Schuelke
[email protected]
404-371-1230 ext 213

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