Getting school systems more invested in the out-of-school experience of youth is critical to success. Youth experiencing housing instability can be supported and empowered when adults in their lives are prepared to help them succeed.

Engage with youth to raise awareness among education staff. Use a media campaign that is followed by training. Develop a team of youth trainers to train school staff. Include information about trauma/trauma informed practice and implicit bias.

  1. Work with Advocates for Richmond Youth to shape what this would look like.
  2. Work with McKinney Vento point person to coordinate trainings with McKinney Vento trainings.
  3. Consult with Pat Popp regarding language to strengthen the message and impact.
  4. Meet with McKinney Vento liaisons to develop plan.
  5. Identify accountability and sustainability plan once education staff are trained & educated.

Provide wrap-around student-centered supports in K12 schools for youth experiencing housing instability (including the young parents of elementary aged students).

  1. Identify ways that both the physical environment and the culture of the school can support students experiencing housing instability and affirm them in all of their identities.
  2. Develop a service and support plan for schools to provide on site.
  3. Work with McKinney Vento liaisons and school system administrators to develop an implementation plan.
  4. Identify resources outside of the school that can be connections to services and supports.
  5. Work with high school counselors as well as McKinney Vento liaisons to build the infrastructure and awareness needed to ensure that federal requirements that students who are experiencing homelessness are working on postsecondary goals with their school counselors is implemented.

Provide student-centered supports in postsecondary education sites.

  1. Assess existing supports for students experiencing housing instability at colleges and universities in the Richmond area.
  2. Identify a single point of contact (SPOC) at colleges and universities in the Richmond area to whom training is provided and a consistent role is communicated.
  3. Create formal connections between SPOCs and McKinney Vento liaisons to ease transition of youth from local high schools into higher education.
  4. Develop training and resource materials on financial aid access for students experiencing homelessness.

Collect and analyze the achievement gap between students who have experienced homelessness and those who have not using disaggregated data that includes race and other identities.

  1. Contact local McKinney Vento liaisons to access data and solicit participation.
  2. Contact Homeward to access data.
  3. Contact Federal Reserve to access economic data.
  4. Contact probation courts to access data.
  5. Compile data and use to inform the campaign (see goals 2 and 3). Use to inform awareness.

Develop a campaign to raise community awareness, which includes definition of youth homelessness, what it looks like, how to help, remind community what schools do/don’t do and how to supplement/complement.

  1. Clearly identify target audience and goals of campaign.
  2. Co-create messages with the school community.
  3. Assess campaign strategies to ensure that they are culturally sensitive and accessible.