Texas Appleseed released the Homeless Youth Handbook for Texas in early December, 2016. The Handbook may be found at www.homelessyouth.org/Texas. Additionally, you may go to the “Contact Us” tab on the handbook website to order a hard copy of the handbook or to get a poster advertising the handbook that includes a QR code for… Read more »
The 84th Texas Legislative Session’s House Bill 679 (Appendix A) required the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), in conjunction with other members of the Texas Interagency Council for the Homeless (TICH), to conduct a study of homeless youth and submit a report to the Texas Legislature no later than December 1, 2016…. Read more »
The laws about runaway, homeless, or unaccompanied youth can seem to be confusing and vague. While physically apart from their parent or guardian, homeless youth lack certain rights that can lead to confusion about legal issues of consent, eligibility for emancipation, parents’ rights, accessing shelter, public education, health care, and public benefits. Recognizing these challenges,… Read more »
Youth engagement is a strategy to value and include the insights of youth in service planning and delivery. Often youth and their families know best what they need and how to make services work for them. This toolkit, developed by the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) addresses the following topics: What is Youth Engagement?… Read more »
https://financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/about/how-to.jsp The Financial Aid Toolkit provides school counselors and other college access mentors with information and resources about federal student aid. This site contains material about different types of financial aid, the FAFSA, outreach, and training opportunities. You’ll find fact sheets, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources to share with students to help them learn… Read more »
http://www.ed.gov/category/keyword/resources-support-completion http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/federal-supports-college-access-completion.pdf The U.S. Department of Education – in collaboration with partners from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor – released a fact sheet on New Federal Guidance and Resources to Support Completion and Success in Higher Education and an accompanying federal interagency letter entitled Aligning… Read more »
https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/205256/adolescents.pdf The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a report entitled Adolescent Well-Being after Experiencing Homelessness. The report, based on data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study, provides a descriptive analysis of the experiences of the study’s 791 focal children. Key findings of the report include:… Read more »
This Q&A document by the USED helps homeless youth navigate the Federal financial aid process.
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/resource/youth-specific-faq-coordinated-entry-20160824 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new resource entitled Youth Specific FAQs for Coordinated Entry. Coordinated Entry (CE) is a process implemented by local HUD Continuums of Care (CoCs) to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair… Read more »
http://youth.gov/youth-topics/runaway-and-homeless-youth/resources-young-parents-children Youth.gov, the federal government’s online portal that provides information on funding and implementing evidence-based youth programs, has developed a webpage focused on young parents experiencing homelessness and their children. Practitioners, policymakers, and young parents can use this online database to find resources about programs, guidance, practices, and supports available to young homeless parents and… Read more »
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/HousingInsecurityInHigherEd.html The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, released a resource entitled Addressing Housing Insecurity and Living Costs in Higher Education: A Guidebook for Colleges and Universities. With high rates of college enrollment despite stagnant or declining family incomes and increasing college costs, today many college… Read more »
https://bettermakeroom.org/our-story Better Make Room is about creating a space for all the great things you’ll do next. It’s about staking a claim, forging a path and lighting the way for others just like you. And it’s a lot more fun to get there together. The site includes: Tools – developed by the U.S. Department of… Read more »
Texas Appleseed and Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) collaborate on a project focused on identifying systemic drivers of and solutions to youth homelessness. This fact sheets previews some early findings, including HOW MANY YOUNG PEOPLE EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS IN TEXAS?
- Download "Dispute Resolution TASB FDC(E)-RRM Aug2016-WORD"
- Download "Dispute Resolution TASB FDC(E)-RRM Aug2016-PDF"
This document was developed by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), and contains forms and procedures for LEAs related to the dispute of student eligibility for services under the McKinney-Vento homeless education provisions. The document contains two forms: Exhibit A: Dispute of Eligibility, School Selection, or Enrollment Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act—3 pages… Read more »
The U.S. Department of Education has released its Foster Care Transition Toolkit, a resource aimed at providing useful supports for foster youth pursuing college and career opportunities. While geared towards foster youth, many of the resources are equally appropriate for homeless youth, as foster and homeless youth often face similar challenges when transitioning to college… Read more »
Homeless and at-risk youth are likely to be eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as the ACA).The ACA vastly simplifies and expands access to affordable health care, including for low-income and homeless youth, and allows states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, a health care program for low-income individuals.
Produced by NAEHCY and the National Association for State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), this short publication provides the legal landscape for who can consent for special education evaluations and services for unaccompanied homeless youth. Implementation tips and resources are also provided.
In the summer of 2013, NAEHCY released College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers. At the time of its release, the toolkit was the only comprehensive national publication of its kind, serving as a comprehensive resource on the issue of higher education access and success for homeless… Read more »
This memorandum provides policy clarification that will help to ensure that eligible homeless youth can access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This document provides tips for responding to questions on the 2016-2017 FAFSA that may cause difficulty for youth who are, or have been, homeless. Question numbers and steps refer to the paper FAFSA. Sections refer to the online FAFSA.
This chart lists the most common errors many students, including homeless students and students coming out of foster care, make when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).These errors stop the processing of the application and delay the disbursement of funds students need to pay college expenses. The right-hand column provides suggestions for avoiding these mistakes.
A dependency status appeal is a process by which an otherwise dependent student can be considered independent for financial aid purposes. Financial aid administrators make dependency status appeal decisions on a case-by-case basis using documentation submitted by the student.
A financial aid administrator can also determine if a student is an unaccompanied youth who is either homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. It is important to examine students’ living situations and claims on a case-by-case basis. If a student does not have and cannot get documentation from any of the authorities given on page 26 of the Application and Verification Guide, you must deter-mine if she is an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
Homelessness is a devastating circumstance for any child or youth; but for youth on their own, the stresses of homelessness are multiplied. The myriad of challenges faced by youth experiencing homelessness on their own puts these students at risk of dropping out or school failure. Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in… Read more »
McKinney-Vento school district liaisons, service providers, and unaccompanied homeless youth should work with financial aid administrators to have unaccompanied youth designated as independent. In addition, unaccompanied youth may need assistance overcoming common barriers that students face in trying to fill out the FAFSA, such as not having all the documents they need, not knowing how to fill out the form, and being overwhelmed by the amount of information the application requests.
Handout by Texas Hunger Initiative
(Baylor University – School of Social Work)
Sarah McPherson, Texas Hunger Initiative Intern & MSW Candidate, Baylor University
Texas Hunger Initiative: The purpose of this report is to provide an in depth look into the UHY population and the barriers they face in accessing SNAP, as well as to provide recommended next step to address these barriers at the local, state, and federal levels. The main parts of this report include a review of existing literature and relevant policies, information gathered from a survey in which individuals working with homeless youth indicate their familiarity with youth SNAP eligibility in addition to barriers they have observed, and proposed recommendations and next steps to help address the identified barriers.
This brief addresses some of the barriers UHY and homeless youth workers experience in accessing youth SNAP benefits. It draws from existing literature, as well as the results of a SNAP access survey, to gain insight into these barriers, and proposes recommendations to address them.
Resource list to Helpful Links
This guide, provided by Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, gives legal definitions, descriptions of legal processes, and a summary of rights for unaccompanied youth.
Updated for 2016-17. There are unusual situations where you will need to exercise your discretion as a financial aid administrator: when modifying the student’s data that calculate the EFC, performing dependency overrides, resolving conflicting information, reporting cases of fraud, and determining a student to be an unaccompanied homeless youth.
The AVG provides information to college financial aid administrators and counselors who help students with the process of seeking federal student aid for post-secondary education. Unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) are considered independent students for purposes of applying for federal student aid. This means that UHY do not need to include a parent signature or information… Read more »
Texas Statutes Related to Homeless Unaccompanied Youth
Preventing and Ending Youth Homelessness: A Coordinated Community Response
This document provides a preliminary vision for such a response. It draws upon what we know works to end homelessness for other populations, along with strategies that support the unique needs of unaccompanied youth and young adults under 25.
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Framework to End Youth Homelessness (youth framework) expands on the Amendment to Opening Doors legislaton by providing clarity on what needs to be done specifically to address youth homelessness to help reach the goal of ending homelessness among children and youth by 2020. This document is a… Read more »
This resource provides a link to the Texas Education Agency website page that outlines the dispute resolution process and timelines for LEAs in Texas. Click here to access the website.
The chart below reviews some common situations that occur for which the school district must determine MV eligibility and/or unaccompanied youth status for a student. An “X” has been placed under each column heading that applies to the student’s designation for each of the scenarios. For each scenario there are four (4) possible outcomes in this chart: (1) the student is only MV eligible; (2) the student only meets the criteria for an unaccompanied youth; (3) the student meets the criteria for both MV and unaccompanied youth designations; and (4) the student does not meet the criteria for either MV or unaccompanied youth designations, in which case there will not be an “X” in either box.
New Help for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives: Questions and Answers About the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, is intended to help ensure full and prompt implementation of the improvements in the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act for children being raised by grandparents and other relatives. It was prepared by the organizations listed below, many of whom have been working individually and together for a number of years to support children being raised by grandparents and other relatives.
The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)has developed three unaccompanied youth toolkits. Each Toolkit 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.
The Toolkits consist of 1-2 page briefs on a variety of topics, including:
- Protocol for Enrolling Unaccompanied Youth in School: Whom Do We Call?
- Unaccompanied Youth Identification Checklist and Tools to launch an identification event in schools and shelters (“MV-FAFSA Week”)
- The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act Basics
- FAFSA Basics and Practical Tips
- Access to Services Tip Sheets (Medicaid, TANF, Social Security, SNAP, shelter)
Each Toolkit is designed for a special audience that often does not receive the information they need to be full partners in serving unaccompanied youth.
Click on the links below to access the each of the toolkits:
This College Affordability Guide and website provides information on financial assistance programs sponsored by the government and community organizations that can help lighten your worries about your college debt load. What’s more, there may be strategies that you haven’t yet considered—selling textbooks, visiting the dental school, using a Zipcar—for cutting costs. Hundreds of options are offered that will help you control your living expenses. Click here to access the site.