Presentation on theme: "Higher Education Access for Homeless Youth Presenters: Marcy Stidum, Assistant Director CARE Center, Kennesaw State University Barbara Duffield, Policy."— Presentation transcript:
Higher Education Access for Homeless Youth Presenters: Marcy Stidum, Assistant Director CARE Center, Kennesaw State University Barbara Duffield, Policy Director, NAEHCY Cyekeia Lee, Higher Education Director, NAEHCY
Who are Unaccompanied Homeless Youth? Legal Definitions Unaccompanied: not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian Homeless: lacking fixed, regular, and adequate housing. Specifically includes sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (couch-surfing); motels; shelters; transitional housing
Why Are They Homeless and On Their Own? Parental abuse - physical and sexual Abandoned or neglected Kicked out due to sexual orientation or pregnancy Returned from foster care to unstable/unsafe arrangements Adopted from foster care, but kicked out after age 18 Exited from foster care without adequate housing and/or supports
Prevalence in High School and College Public schools have documented significant increases in youth homelessness: 1,168,364 homeless students in public schools, preK-12, in 2011-2012 school year 10% increase over previous year, 72% increase since the recession (2006-2007 school year) Applications indicating homelessness on the FAFSA (only unaccompanied homeless youth) 53,705 in 2011-2012 58,158 in 2012-2013
Impact of Homelessness on Education Barriers: enrollment documentation; high mobility; invisibility/lack of awareness; social- emotional-physical problems (hunger, fatigue, illness, trauma, fear) In 2011-2012, less than half of homeless students who were tested met state proficiency in reading, math, science Higher drop-out and lower graduation rates (VA and CO data)
Barriers to Higher Education Access Lack of parental income and support Barriers accessing financial aid Barriers receiving subsequent year determinations of homeless status Lack of housing during holiday and summer breaks Food insecurities on campus Lack of information about available support systems Struggle to balance school and other responsibilities
McKinney-Vento Act State coordinators at State Education Agencies School district liaisons Identification Immediate enrollment School stability Transportation Posting of public notice
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and the FAFSA Independent student status on FAFSA since 2009 Determinations made by: School District homeless liaison RHYA-funded shelter director or designee HUD-funded shelter director or designee College financial aid administrator
Application and Verification Guide Provides guidance for FAAs to make a determination of a students homeless status Student can use colleges administrative address as mailing address UHY may be 21 or younger or still enrolled in high school on the date he/she signs the FAFSA Dependency override required for 22-23 year olds 24 or older is automatic independent status
Application and Verification Guide FAA verification – Not required unless there is conflicting information – Documented interview (even via phone) is acceptable – Should be done with discretion and sensitivity Some information may be confidential (e.g. protected by doctor-patient privilege) Child welfare reports are not necessary – Guidance recommends consulting with local liaisons, State Coordinators, NCHE, school counselors, clergy, etc.
Continuing Barriers 500 calls to NAEHCYs 1-800 hotline in just seven months Most calls are from homeless youth regarding independent student determinations Other issues are referrals for food, shelter, other resources, FAFSA completion and higher education fee waivers.
TRIO Provisions TRIO programs must identify and make available services for homeless youth Homeless youth are automatically eligible to participate in TRIO programs. TRIO funds may be used to provide programs and activities specially designed for homeless youth Student Support Services funds can be used to secure temporary housing during breaks in the academic year for homeless children and youth and foster youth.
Carl D. Perkins Act The Perkins Act calls out special populations to be served in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs While Perkins does not address homelessness directly many states include homeless students under the individuals from economically disadvantaged families special populations definition and coordinate with McKinney Vento Liaisons. The Research: CTE and Special Populations – Studies show reduced dropout rates compared to the general population- impact is greatest for those entering high school at greatest risk - Wonacott 2002 – Vulnerable students participating in paid CTE related internships miss few days of school - Chapin Hall 2007 14
Statewide Networks Statewide higher education networks – – Stakeholders from K-12 education, higher education, service providers, and college access programs. – Members collaborate to identify and address barriers to higher education access, retention, and success for youth experiencing homelessness. – Current states include: CO, NC, NH, KY, FL, GA, IL, MI, MA, and OK – In development: NY, NJ, VA, IN, and MT
Supportive Campus Programs Campus Supports: Single Point of Contacts – 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: In place in CO, NC, MI, and GA In progress in AL, FL, NH, NV, MA, NJ, IN Food pantries Housing during breaks
CARE Program Overview Case Management The Owls Closet Funding Resources Emergency Shelters Opens Doors 17
Case Management For several years Case Managers have provided services to KSU students. The case manager is the person who aides in putting all the pieces together. Case Management Team: Assess students capacity to cope with their current situation/crisis Prioritize needs and develop an care/action plan Coordinate care with both formal and informal supports Refer students to on and off campus resources
A donation-based collection and referral service for food, clothing, toiletries and other necessities Partnership with the KSU Feed the Future Program
Assists students with addressing their financial needs by: Finding job opportunities both on and off campus Locating benevolent organizations to offer services students may not be able to afford. (i.e. childcare, car maintenance, etc.) Assisting students in applying for university and community-based grants and/or scholarships Work with Financial Aid to determine if student is connected to all available resources
When students are in situations where they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, the CARE Center will Refer to local benevolent associations for Emergency Shelter (e.g. Must Ministries, area churches, YWCA, etc.) and Provide assistance with locating affordable living arrangements (i.e. extended stay hotels, area apartments, etc.).
CARE Center GoalsNutrition Collaborate with culinary services to develop a program so students can afford on-campus dining Expand connection to community based pantry KSU Feed The Future Pantry Campus-based pantry for general population Need dedicated space Need refrigeration ability Books Develop a process for students to be able to afford the KSU Bookstore Rental and/or e-book programs Access community and/or grant funding to assist with book purchases Housing Develop network of housing referral options for KSU students Partner with local hotels to d evelop a hotel voucher system
CARE Center Goals Transportation: Develop a system for obtaining bus passes for student use Reach out to KSU Parking regarding opportunities to expand availability/drop-off locations for the Big Owl Bus (BOB) services Finances: Continue to partner with Financial Aid to ensure student access all resources available Work with KSU Scholarship to look for additional funding opportunities Work with all available campus based job opportunities to help student secure employment
Tools and Resources NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline (855) 446-2673 (toll-free) or firstname.lastname@example.org Provides assistance with issues related to students experiencing homelessness accessing higher education. NAEHCY Higher Education Helplinehighered@naehcy.org NAEHCY Higher Education Podcasts Provide succinct and readily accessible information about topics related to college access and success for young people experiencing homelessness. NAEHCY Higher Education Podcasts College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers Includes information on understanding homeless students, assisting homeless students in choosing a school, helping them pay for application-related expenses, in finding financial aid and scholarships for school, and helping homeless students succeed in college. College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers FAFSA Tips for Unaccompanied Youth Without Stable Housing This tip sheet provides a step-by-step guide to unaccompanied youth for filling out questions that refer to their status as an unaccompanied youth without stable housing. Guidance is given for filling out the online or paper version of the FAFSA. FAFSA Tips for Unaccompanied Youth Without Stable Housing
Tools and Resources Making Student Status Determinations for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth: Eligibility Tool for Financial Aid Administrators This form is for college financial aid administrators (FAA) who are evaluating a students eligibility for independent student status. It provides guidance to assist FAAs in making a determination in cases where a student, seeking independent student status as an unaccompanied homeless youth, comes to the attention of a FAA and a prior status determination by a local liaison or shelter is unavailable. Making Student Status Determinations for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth: Eligibility Tool for Financial Aid Administrators Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Documentation of Independent Student Status for the FAFSA This template provides local homeless education liaisons, HUD-funded shelter representatives, and RHYA-funded shelter representatives with a sample form for verifying a student's status as an unaccompanied homeless youth for the purpose of applying for federal financial aid for higher education using the FAFSA. Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Documentation of Independent Student Status for the FAFSA Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet for Higher Education McKinney-Vento Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) This tip sheet provides specific strategies and recommendations for how higher education SPOCs can support unaccompanied homeless youth in obtaining a college education and moving towards a stable future. Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet for Higher Education McKinney-Vento Single Points of Contact (SPOCs)
Tools and Resources Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet for Higher Education McKinney-Vento Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) This tip sheet provides specific strategies and recommendations for how higher education SPOCs can support unaccompanied homeless youth in obtaining a college education and moving towards a stable future. Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet for Higher Education McKinney-Vento Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Toolkits Each toolkit, designed with a specific audience in mind, contains a wealth of information about supporting unaccompanied youth in school and out, with a special focus on helping unaccompanied youth complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when applying for aid for higher education. A toolkit is available for each of the following audiences: High School Counselors and McKinney-Vento Liaisons Shelters and Service Providers; and Shelters and Service Providers College and University Financial Aid Administrators
Contact Information Barbara Duffield, Policy Director NAEHCY Phone: 202.364.7392 Email: email@example.com@naehcy.org Cyekeia Lee, Higher Education Director Phone: 734.258.8175 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org@naehcy.org Marcy Stidum, LCSW, MPA Asst Dir, Case Management & Prevention Services Coordinator of CARE Center Counseling & Psychological Services Kennesaw State University Email: sss.kennesaw.edusss.kennesaw.edu