The needs of families experiencing homelessness do not end on the last day of the school. Many families experiencing homelessness require resources and supports through the summer months. Schools often provide a safe place for homeless children and youth with consistent meals; in the summer months this same consistency is not always available. Please reference the information in this email and our website http://www.cde.state.co.us/dropoutprevention/homeless_index for ways to support students and families through the summer months.
In addition, my contact information is at the end of this document, and I am available via phone, e-mail, or in person to discuss questions or feedback regarding the education of homeless children and youth. Please also consider reaching out to Paula Gumina, a program specialist for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and/or the McKinney-Vento Regional Consultants across the state. Their contact information is available at: www.cde.state.co.us/dropoutprevention/homeless_contact.
The following links and attached documents may prove helpful during the summer months:
Ø Office of School Nutrition at CDE provides information on summer lunch and meal programs http://www.cde.state.co.us/nutrition/nutrisummer;
Ø An “Access to Food for Homeless and Highly Mobile Students” document that discusses food programs for students and their families through Free and Reduced Lunch Program but also, after school and weekend programs;
Ø United Way’s 2-1-1 provides the following website to search for services in your areahttps://211colorado.communityos.org/cms/node/142
Transitioning Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (UHY) into Higher Education
Summer is also a time of transition for unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) who are planning to attend postsecondary options. As the end of the school year approaches, this is an important time to touch base with UHY and discuss their needs for entering institutions of higher education. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007 included UHY under the definition of an “independent student.” By verifying these youth as independent students for purposes of financial aid, the law has opened the door for students to explore and succeed in postsecondary options.
Visit our website http://www.cde.state.co.us/dropoutprevention/homeless_highered for more information about how you, as an authorized verifier for “homeless unaccompanied youth” under CCRAA, can assist youth experiencing homelessness as they transition into higher education settings.
One of the most important contacts you will make for unaccompanied homeless youth in your district will be with the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) at the higher education institution he/she will be attending. Each two and four-year public college and university, and each four-year private nonprofit college in Colorado has a designated SPOC. For a list of SPOCs and more information about the SPOC model, click on the following link: www.cde.state.co.us/dropoutprevention/homeless_hespocs.
Director of Student Services
4101 S. Bannock St.
Englewood, CO 80110