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Homeless youth receive support

Marianne Boll-See | Staff Writer


The Homeless Educational Team at Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSOS) passed a Resolution Nov. 9, to recognize November as Homeless Youth Awareness Month.

Homeless children and youth are defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as “individuals who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence… including those sharing the housing of other persons due to lack of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds. Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or similar settings.”

The resolution supports compliance with federal mandates set forth by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act.

For years school districts have provided the protections and rights for students experiencing homelessness. The Resolution from NCSOS is “really about raising awareness for the critical issue,” according to Melissa Parrett, County Coordinator.

“We are fortunate to have community partnerships across the county that come together in the best interest of children and youth,” Parrett stated.

“The homeless youth population includes youth who have left home for one or more nights without permission, youth who have been kicked out of their homes, and are abandoned. Youth who have aged out of foster care or have been released from juvenile justice and have nowhere to go would also be offered legal and financial support, knowledge, skills and abilities they need,” according to the resolution.

Services provided include dispute resolution, community outreach and referrals, funding for school activities such as sports and educational needs, staff development materials, and attendance services, according to the NCSOS website for homeless youth resources.

Students often need help gathering education records from the last school attended and enrolling in free and reduced lunch programs. Vulnerable students may be given the right “to be enrolled immediately (even without medical or school records) in the neighborhood school,” according to the NCSOS.

Transportation issues can be referred to Homeless Liaisons at the school who will “work with parents to problem-solve transportation challenges.”

“Natural disasters are another qualifier, such as recent fires occurring in neighboring districts,” Parrett said.

Homeless children are more likely than their peers to repeat a grade, drop out of school, or be placed in special education, according to the resolution.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact your school district and ask to speak to the Homeless Education Liaison.

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