| The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) is the voice and social conscience for the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. NAEHCY achieves this through advocacy, partnerships, and education. |
Each year, an estimated 1.5 million children and youth experience homelessness in our nation’s towns, cities and counties. Those students lack the stability and peace of mind we all hope to be able to give our children. On a regular basis, children and youth report that school is a home to them – a place where they see the same faces, sit in the same seat and can put their hearts and minds into pursuits that take their minds off their daily troubles and gain the skills needed to avoid poverty and homelessness as adults. Our members work in schools, education, and advocacy agencies across the country, as well as in shelters and community organizations. We are on the front lines identifying, enrolling, and coordinating services for homeless children and youth. NAEHCY supports those in the field through legislative advocacy and guidance on implementation and working with special populations. See NAEHCY’s publications and legislative updates.
NAEHCY administers the LeTendre Education Fund to provide academic funding, resources, and mentoring to students who have experienced homelessness. Essays submitted to the scholarship program provide testimonies of disruption, deprivation, and stolen childhoods; they challenge us to face the reality of homelessness experienced by hundreds of thousands of children and youth. In one, a high school senior describes how people became tired of him and his mother sleeping on their floors, and of the toll on his mental health and education. Another student writes about the lack of privacy and food in a motel room, and the difficulty concentrating on homework. And yet another reveals that since the 5th grade, she has lived wherever she could, never knowing how long she would have a roof over her head. Homelessness, in her words, means “no steadiness, and no safety.” Teachers, counselors, social workers, and other educators corroborate the students’ experiences and disclose even more disturbing details. Learn more about this scholarship fund. Deadline to submit applications for the 2010 award is September 17, 2010.
At NAEHCY's web site you will find resources for serving homeless children and youth that cover a wide range of issues and areas of need: support for homeless education liaisons implementing the McKinney-Vento Act; best practices for working with unaccompanied youth, children in out of home care, preschoolers, and other specialty areas; and information on building partnerships with community and state level resources to support the students you serve. You can also become a member of NAEHCY to support this valuable work.