The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. In Mendocino County, there are an estimated 815 homeless children and youth. FYSCP provides support and resources to the 13 school districts in the county, including charter schools to implement McKinney-Vento. Technical assistance and training is available to the district homeless liaisons and other staff who are involved in working with homeless children and youth. The Homeless Youth Services Program Manager acts as the County Liaison advocating for homeless students for maintaining in their school of origin, immediate enrollment and eliminating barriers for students to attend school. Our program maintains records for homeless students who attend our MCOE programs, gather homeless data for Mendocino County to report to California Department of Education yearly, attend IEP’s, monitor students who are eligible for limited credit graduation, and attend weekly meetings at local children’s shelter to assess appropriate school placements/needs for children.
The term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.
- Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement.
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
- Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above.
- Employment for up to 10 foster youth for 5-20 hours a week in a local job placement.
- Literacy Support, GED study materials, assistance with the purchase of school items.
- Connecting foster youth to the financial aid process at the local community college to help ensure FAFSA, CHAFEE and other grant funding availability.
- Yearly college tours to Santa Rosa JC, Sonoma State, Mendocino College.
- Assist with providing professional development and training to school sites in specialized areas specific to foster youth.
- FYSCP provides assistance to foster youth and families in locating and accessing community resources.
- FYSCP has a co-located position at Child Welfare Services to update health and education passport information for increased educational case management of foster youth records.
- Backpacks, hygiene supplies, school items, literacy support, clothing, uniforms, first aid/lice kits, laundry vouchers, bus passes, socks, shoes, undergarments and handmade quilts (as available by donation).
- Employment for up to 5 homeless students for 5-10 hrs a week in local job placements.
- Assistance with retrieving birth certificates, immunization records, social security cards and other documents for school enrollment.
- Assistance for families in locating and accessing community resources (Food Bank, Plowshares, First 5, health clinics, mental health services, Mendocino County Youth Project)
- Snack Pack (weekend bag of food- available as community grants determine)
- Letter of verification of homeless status for financial aid/college tour.
- Connection to district level supports on school sites.
- Assistance with special education support services.