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Homelessness Supports

Helping Children in Lancaster & Lebanon Counties and Beyond

Children experiencing homelessness have the right to a stable education, and we can help put them on the path to success.

The Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness program (ECYEH) is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is based on the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This federal legislation ensures that homeless children and youth have access to a free, appropriate, public education.

Our team is committed to ensuring that all students experiencing homelessness have the opportunity to succeed in school. We eliminate barriers to education, educate the community about the nature of homelessness, and provide support to schools, families, and communities.

How the ECYEH program can help:

  • HELP with school enrollment and placement
  • PROVIDE community referrals
  • COORDINATE transportation and support services
  • IMPLEMENT tutoring and enrichment services
  • ASSIST with obtaining supplies necessary for school
  • SUPPLY training and outreach to school districts, families, and communities

McKinney-Vento Act

Children and youth are eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act if they have been displaced from their homes and are living in a place that is not fixed, regular, or adequate, such as:

  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
  • In a place not designated as regular sleeping accommodation, such as a vehicle, park, hotel, or campground
  • In a homeless or domestic violence shelter or transitional housing placement
  • Outside of his/her home as an unaccompanied youth
  • Awaiting foster care
  • In any of the situations listed above as the child of a migrant family

>> Click here to download a copy of the McKinney-Vento Act.

Your Rights

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

  • Continue their education in their current school, and receive transportation OR enroll immediately in the school where they are temporarily housed, even if lacking the paperwork normally required
  • Participate in all applicable school programs, including supplemental services
  • Receive free lunch
  • Receive assistance with school-related expenses such as supplies, clothing, uniforms, etc.

>> Click here for a printable version of this information.

ECYEH Region 2 map

About This Program:
PA Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessless Program: Region 2

The ECYEH program in Region 2 serves Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties, and is administered by the Berks County Intermediate Unit.

Training

We provide training on the following topics:

  • McKinney-Vento 101 – Looking for a basic overview of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act? This training is for you. Participants will gain an understanding of the challenges faced by students experiencing homelessness, including the specific challenges faced by unaccompanied youth. Characteristics of homelessness and identification strategies will be explored. An online poverty simulation can be added to this training.
  • Foster Care – This training will provide a basic overview of school district responsibilities for foster care youth, under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act. Collaboration strategies and best practices in working with foster care youth will be explored.
  • Transporting Students Experiencing Homelessness – This training will focus specifically on school district transportation requirements for students experiencing homelessness, as required by the McKinney-Vento Act. Best practices and creative transportation solutions will be explored.
  • Homelessness in Early Childhood – Learn about the unique challenges faced by children experiencing homelessness in early childhood and their rights under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This training will focus on preschool, early intervention, and Head Start program.

Homeless Awareness Workshops for Students:

  • Book Club
  • Families in Transition

>> Click here for a printable version of training opportunities.

Resources

Local Resources (for Lancaster and/or Lebanon County):

School District Homeless Liaison Resources:

Helpful Links:

Forms and Documents:

Additional Community Resources in Region 2 and Early Childhood Resources

Follow ECYEH on Facebook for information, updates, and more!

Local Contact

Amy Stitzel, IU13 Homeless Liaison: amy_stitzel@iu13.org, 717-606-1744