COVID-19 Resources

The Homeless Education Network compiled a list of resources for educators, counselors, direct service providers, and anyone in the Pittsburgh community looking to support families experiencing homelessness during this time. You can download the list here

Local Social Service Resources

School Enrollment Resources

  • Summary of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): ESSA amended the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, as well as Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESSA amendments include many provisions designed to improve training, identification, enrollment, stability, and success, from pre-school through high school, and the transition to post-secondary education. Click here for a summary.
  • School District Homeless Liaison: Every school district has a homeless liaison to help students stay in school. Click here to find the current liaison for any school district in Pennsylvania.
  • Allegheny Intermediate Unit: For further help with enrollment or transportation for students experiencing homelessness, contact Nicole Anderson at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (412-394-5894).
  • Educational Rights of Children & Youth in Homeless Situations: This comprehensive document answers frequently asked questions regarding McKinney-Vento and Title I law as it relates to children and youth experiencing homelessness. Presented by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children & Youth and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

Potential Warning Signs of Homelessness

  • Attendance at many different schools
  • Lack of personal records needed to enroll
  • Inability to pay fees
  • Gaps in skill development
  • Mistaken diagnosis of abilities
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Poor ability to conceptualize
  • Lack of immunizations or records
  • Unmet medical and dental needs
  • Increased vulnerability to colds & flu
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin rashes
  • Chronic hunger (may hoard food)
  • Fatigue (may fall asleep in class)
  • Erratic attendance and tardiness
  • Numerous or extended periods of absences
  • Lack of participation in afterschool activities
  • Lack of participation in field trips
  • Absences on days when students bring in special treats from home
  • Inability to contact parents
  • Lack of shower facilities, washers, etc.
  • Wearing same clothes for several days
  • Inconsistent grooming – well groomed one day and poorly groomed the next
  • Consistent lack of preparation for school
  • Incomplete or missing homework (no place to work or keep supplies)
  • Unable to complete special projects
  • Lack of basic school supplies
  • Loss of books and others supplies on a regular basis
  • Concern for safety of belongings
  • Refusing invitations from classmates
  • Marked change in behavior
  • Poor/short attention span
  • Poor self esteem
  • Extreme shyness
  • Unwillingness to risk forming relationships with peers and teachers
  • Difficulty socializing at recess
  • Difficulty trusting people
  • Aggression
  • “Old” beyond years
  • Protective of parents
  • Clinging behavior
  • Developmental delays
  • Fear of abandonment
  • School phobia (student wants to be with parent)
  • Need for immediate gratification
  • Anxiety late in the school day
  • Exhibiting anger or embarrassment when asked about current address
  • Mentions staying with grandparents, relatives, friends, or in a motel, etc.
  • Makes comments such as:
    • “I don’t remember the name of the last school.”
    • “We’ve been moving around a lot.”
    • “Our address is new.  I don’t remember it.”  (may hide lack of permanent address)
    • “We’re staying with relatives until we get settled.”
    • “We’re going through a bad time right now.”
    • “We’ve been unpacking, traveling, etc.” to explain poor appearance and/or hygiene.

Note: These are considered warning signs; please recognize that they only offer general guidance. There is significant variability within the school-age homeless population. Individual students may differ significantly from the following general characteristics. Common signs adapted from the flyers developed by the Illinois & Pennsylvania Departments of Education.

Higher Education & Career Resources

  • Ivy Panda has a great guide laying out the pros and cons of both options.
  • Pennsylvania College Access Program
    A nonprofit statewide educational workforce development outreach program working to provide assistance to individuals completing applications for college, business and technical schools.
  • Urban League
    Working to increase the number of youth who: Go on to college or have post-secondary plan; Demonstrate work readiness and understand career pathways and options; Demonstrate leadership skills and healthy life choices; Prepare for major transitions including school, work, life.
  • Neighborhood Learning Alliance
    Programs primarily focus on academics – credit recovery, Keystone remediation, tutoring, and other forms of support and advocacy.
  • Upward Bound
    Providing fundamental support to high school students in preparation for college by giving them the edge they need to improve grades, develop social skills, and identify interests and potential career paths.
  • We Promise (African American males)
    A program uniquely designed to support African American male students by providing the resources they need to ensure they are prepared and eligible to receive a scholarship from The Pittsburgh Promise.
  • Investing Now (Pitt STEM)
    A college preparatory program created to stimulate, support, and recognize the high academic performance of pre-college students from groups that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and careers. The purpose of the program is to ensure that participants are well prepared for matriculation at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Project Grad (Woodland Hills)
    Providing academic support through in-class and after-school tutoring; career exploration and guidance; and hands-on support through the entire college search and application process, including FAFSA completion, scholarship searches, and interpretation of financial aid packages.
  • FAME (Minorities)
    Educating scholars on strategies to meet their academic and career goals and advocating on behalf of FAME Scholars whenever necessary.
  • NEED
    Working with high school students to help them learn about career options, explore and apply to post-secondary school, research and apply for scholarships, get connected with mentors, and go on college tours.
  • Auberle Employment Institute
    Supporting our high education achievers by helping them prepare for and enroll in college.
  • Crossroads Foundation
    Making vulnerable urban adolescents into successful young scholars who are ready for college
  • Students-in-Transition Education After High School Handbook
    St. Louis Public Schools
  • Higher Education Podcasts
    National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
  • Higher Education Helpline (1-855-446-2673 or text 335577)
    National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
  • Life After High School
    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
  • Homeless Youth and Higher Education
    Affordable Colleges Online
  • College Affordability Guide
  • Guide to Affordable Student Housing
  • Resource Guide for Homeless and Low Income Students
  • Six Resources for Homeless College Students
  • Locate Schools Offering Teaching Degrees
  • Angel’s Place
    Provides free childcare for low-income single parents who are full-time students
  • North Hills Community Outreach – Education Assistance
    Provides grants, usually to non-traditional students, depending on financial need and availability of funds. Oftentimes, Education Assistance funds can be used for any college- or post-secondary school- related expense, such as tuition, fees, books, child care and transportation.
  • YouthWorks (Age 12-25)
  • Bloomfield Garfield Corporation: ENEC (Age 16+)
    Job training, workforce development, career counseling and job placement.
  • Auberle: Employment Institute
    Workforce development program offering 13 nationally recognized certificate programs including OSHA, ServSafe, CNA, Customer Service and more.
  • Auberle Workplace Opportunities
    Auberle offers opportunities in lawncare/landscaping, catering, and construction/maintenance
  • Garfield Jubilee Youthbuild (Age 18-24)
    Learn construction, health care or retail/customer service skills while earning your GED
  • School 2 Career (9th-12th grade)
    Mentored work placement and skill-building workshops
  • Learn & Earn
    The Learn & Earn is designed to provide meaningful work experiences and career exposure to young adults ages 14-24. The two opportunities available are The Corporate Internship (18-24) and General Learn and Earn (14-21)
  • Partner 4 Work: Workforce Development Services for High School students

Educational & Extracurricular Resources