Using Statewide Networks to Assist Homeless Youth in Making

Using Statewide Networks to Assist
Homeless Youth in Making Successful
Transitions to Postsecondary Programs
National Association for the Education of Homeless
Children and Youth 26th Annual Conference
Kansas City, MO
• Cyekeia Lee
• Director of Higher Education Initiatives
• National Association for the Education of
Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)
• Shirley Fan-Chan,
• Director U-ACCESS
• University of Massachusetts Boston
What are Statewide Networks for
Homeless Youth?
• People and organizations working together to
help homeless students access and complete
postsecondary programs
• Often include one or more McKinney-Vento
and Higher Education Champions to cross
• Includes Stakeholders from K-12 education,
Local homeless liaisons, higher education staff,
RHYA and HUD shelter staff, and college access
program staff
Why are Statewide Networks
• Last year 56, 224 youth indicated on the
FAFSA that they were unaccompanied
homeless youth
• Many of the these youth need additional
assistance navigating higher education
• NAEHCY’s Higher Education Helpline has
received over 900 calls and emails from UHY,
or professionals helping UHY access higher
What Barriers do Statewide
Networks Address?
• Entrance requirements
• Financial aid eligibility/packages
• Housing
• Understanding of homelessness
• On-campus support
• Academic offerings and supports
• Supportive off-campus communities
Roles and Responsibilities of
Statewide Networks
• Define roles and responsibilities for
champions, taskforce, and SPOC’s
• Discuss communication (email, webex
meeting, conference call, in person,
• Discuss how often you will meet as a group
• At least one in person meeting per year
• Get data for population you are serving
• How many youth? Retention? Graduation?
• Develop one year plan of taskforce work
Where are the Statewide
Higher Education Networks?
• Currently, NAEHCY supports and provides
technical assistance to the following states
around the country, including:
• Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky,
Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire,
North Carolina, Oklahoma
• NAEHCY is working with the following states
to develop State Higher Education Networks:
• Indiana, Montana, New Jersey, Virginia
What Are SPOC’s?
• “Single Point of Contact” – A supportive
college administrator on each campus who is
committed to helping homeless youth (and
often foster youth) successfully navigate the
college-going process on campuses
• Connects students to Admissions, Financial Aid,
Academic Advising, Housing, Community
Resources etc.
•In place in MI, CO, NC, and GA
•In progress in AL, FL, NH, NV, MA, NJ, IN, PA
• Alabama A & M example
Best Practices from Statewide
• Colorado’s network has designated funding to defer
housing cost, purchase ID’s, bedding and other school
supplies for unaccompanied homeless youth.
• New Hampshire’s network has partnered with the
New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance
Foundation (NHHEAF) to provide scholarships for
unaccompanied homeless youth.
• Kennesaw State a partner of the Georgia network,
implemented a campus awareness and resource
empowerment center, known as the C.A.R.E. program
to address and support the needs of homeless
students on its campus.
NAEHCY Resources
• NAEHCY Toolkit: College Access and Success for Students
Experiencing Homelessness available at
• Podcast Series
• NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline
(855) 446-2673 (toll-free)
[email protected]
• FAFSA Tips for Unaccompanied Youth Without Stable
Housing and Helping Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Access
College Financial Aid at
Cyekeia Lee
Director of Higher Education Initiatives
[email protected], 734-258-8175
NAEHCY Helpline, 855-446-2673
[email protected]

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