Emergency Education Fund


The Emergency Education Fund provides funding of up to $500 for young people up to age 24 who are currently in a homeless situation and who have an unexpected, immediate need preventing access to or completion of educational, extracurricular, or career-related activities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Age 24 or younger
  • Currently residing in Allegheny County
  • Currently experiencing homelessness (defined as lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence, including living in a shelter, car, motel, doubled-up situation, or places not meant for human habitation, or lacking permanent housing)
  • Have an unexpected, immediate need preventing access to or completion of educational, extracurricular, or career-related activities
  • Is actively enrolled in HCEF programming

Allowable Expenses

If your request is a non-emergency need or is covered by other funding sources in the community, HCEF may request that they first be exhausted. See our list of community resources and funding. Please also note that HCEF also offers an annual award to first-time students of higher education or career training.

What We Fund:

Emergency educational expenses:

What We DO NOT Fund:

Non-educational or non-emergency needs:

Application Requirements

  • Eligible applicants must be actively enrolled in HCEF programming. 
  • Third party (e.g. social worker, homeless housing provider) letter of verification confirming homeless status on official letterhead. See our sample template.
  • For higher education or career training requests, proof of enrollment or acceptance (e.g. transcript, letter of acceptance)

Submission and Selection
Requests are accepted on a rolling basis.  Recipients will be selected based on need and availability of funds.

  • Applications for youth under the age of 18 must be filled out by a guardian, with the exception of unaccompanied youth.
  • If you are applying for multiple children within one family, you will need to fill out an individual page of the request form for each child. There is a $500 maximum per child.
  • Payment will be issued to the applicable vendor (e.g. Port Authority, Amazon). We cannot provide payment directly to the applicant. Payments via check will be processed within two weeks.
  • Approved applicants will be contacted before the vendor is paid.
  • Note that the Homeless Children’s Education Fund may need to identify itself by name to the vendor.
  • The vendor must provide a receipt within thirty days.
  • Recipients may be sent a survey after receiving the grant.
  • Funding is available on a limited basis.  If you have received funding in the past, contact us to determine your eligibility.