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American Rescue Plan - Homeless Children and Youth

American Rescue Plan - Homeless Children and Youth Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Education under section 2001(b)(1) of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is providing additional funding to help support school districts in serving students experiencing homelessness. The purposes of this funding include increasing the identification of homeless children and youth, providing wraparound services considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities.

American Rescue Plan - Homeless Children and Youth Subgrantees

American Rescue Plan - Homeless Children and Youth: Outreach and Emergency Assistance Grantees - Updated January 2024

Funding in Colorado
The American Rescue Plan - Homeless Children and Youth funding supplements,  and augments existing Education of Homeless Children and Youth programming across the state as well as expands funding and programming to a number of districts that have never been funded before. 

The Colorado Department of Education has awarded funding to 36 grantees across seven educational regions, making funding available to 79 school districts across the state.

Funding has been approved to support the necessary expenses associated with the identification, enrollment, retention and educational success of homeless children and youth including:

  • Hiring FTE to support outreach and navigation of services for children, youth and families experiencing homelessness

  • Providing stipends to enrollment staff to targeted enrollment events

  • Providing stipends to school level contacts to support greater identification and connection to services

  • Contracting with community-based organizations to conduct outreach, identification and enrollment of homeless children and youth

  • Contracts with wraparound service providers to support unaccompanied homeless youth with social emotional supports, and historically underserved populations such as members of the LGBTQIA community

  • Training for staff in rural regions of the state on trauma informed care. 

  • Defraying costs of transportation with contracted car services, gas vouchers and public transportation passes

  • Purchasing cell phones and laptops for students to be able to fully engage in their schoolwork and stay connected to supportive and caring adults as well as needed services 

  • Paying for short-term, temporary housing when necessary to enable the homeless child or youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities primarily with hotel/motel vouchers

  • Purchase summer programming passes to keep homeless children and youth engaged in programming through the summer and school breaks including access to showers and prosocial activities.  

 

State level reservations are also being used to build awareness, capacity and strengthen collaborations with community-based organizations.  The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) awarded three grants to community-based organizations across the state to support outreach and emergency assistance to children and youth experiencing homelessness.  

Further, state level funds are being used to plan, develop and deliver Regional Collaborative Conversations to Support Highly Mobile Youth (RCC).  CDE  hosted the first RCC in Alamosa in April 2022, then in Fort Morgan in December 2022 and the third in Grand Junction in January 2023. Strategic follow-up to these conversations such as, professional learning communities and coaching check-ins are in the works as well as the planning for at least two additional RCCs before 2024.  

Regional Collaborative Conversations

The Regional Collaborative Conversations to Support Highly Mobile Youth events create the opportunity for local communities to learn and work together in building knowledge, identifying needs and addressing barriers for Highly Mobile Youth to access and succeed in school and out-of-school time programming.

Partners in this work include but are not limited to: 

  • McKinney-Vento Homeless Education 

  • Foster Care Education

  • Migrant Education

  • Out of School Time

  • Health and Wellness

  • Family, School, Community Partnerships 

  • Adult Education Initiatives

Regional Collaborative Conversations invite partners who serve highly-mobile students to attend a CDE sponsored regional event with professional development, action planning, networking and resource sharing.  The event focuses on training and technical assistance related to student mobility and how school districts can implement effective interventions and strategies across the district, with the help of community partners.  Intended outcomes of the RCC model include:

  • Provide local communities with the opportunity to build a plan for providing greater access to out of school time programming for highly mobile youth

  • Gather data and perspective on local challenges and how communities are working to overcome challenges in partnership

  • Inform the creation of the funding opportunities awarded by CDE to reduce barriers and increase access for highly mobile populations

Resources