Family Homelessness, Children and Educational Challenges
For many children across the United States this week marked the first week back to school. For children experiencing homelessness, the first week back to school could be filled with hope for a new beginning and certainly many challenges. This week the People’s Emergency Center in West Philadelphia was highlighted in their local media, one of the many organizations across the country serving children headed back to school who do not have a stable home. The People’s Emergency Center offers housing for women and children and is acutely aware of the distinct educational and emotional challenges faced by roughly 9,000 children experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania.
The primary challenge for families at very low incomes is housing instability, which often leads to children experiencing increased school mobility, arriving late to school, or missing school completely. All of these intertwined issues contribute to low academic achievement scores and elevated high school dropout rates among children and youth experiencing homelessness. In an insightful blog post on Firesteel, led by Washington YWCAs, these outcomes and challenges for the 26,000 Washington state school children who experience homelessness are discussed in further detail.
To learn about strategies to help address family homelessness and the impact it has on children, this fall The National Center on Family Homelessness will provide a free training series on strengthening young families experiencing homelessness.
Rapid Results Housing Boot Camp – Sustainability Review
This Monday, September 10, USICH will be tweeting live from the Rapid Results Housing Boot Camp –Sustainability Review hosted by 100,000 Homes and Rapid Results Institute in concert with USICH in Washington, DC. This is a follow up conference that will bring together all the communities that participated in Rapid Results Bootcamps this summer.
This summer 17 community groups participated in Rapid Results Bootcamps around the country, in which they redesigned and revamped their approach to ending Veterans homelessness in their communities. Each Bootcamp brought together experts and community leaders to rethink how best to apply strategies that will make a direct impact on the speed and efficiency at which Veterans experiencing homelessness can access housing. At the end of each Bootcamp, teams created 100 day goals that would transform the way the HUD-VASH program was implemented in their communities. The conference on September 10 will be way for communities to share their successes and lessons learned, revise their sustainability plans, and establish commitments for the next 100 days. Conference participants will also hear from high-level representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the White House Domestic Policy Council, all of whom recognize the importance of this work as we strive to the 2015 goal.
Next week’s USICH Council Meeting at HUD
The next USICH Council meeting will be held at HUD on Wednesday, September 12 at 1:30 pm (EST), focusing on strategies needed to accelerate progress to the 2020 goal of ending homelessness for families and children. The supplement the discussion among federal agencies, the meeting will feature two expert panelists from the field: Associate Executive Director of Programs at The Road Home Michelle Flynn of Salt Lake City, Utah and Executive Director of Tacoma (WA) Housing Authority Michael Mirra. USICH invited these two organizations because they both demonstrate how organizations can leverage mainstream resources in innovative collaborations to end family homelessness.
The Meeting will be webcast live via the HUD webstream; you can access it here on the day of the Council meeting
USICH will also be tweeting from the Council meeting as well. Make sure to engage with us and follow the conversation at #usich - if you are not already following us on twitter, connect with us @usichgov!