Mission: Our Mission: To provide advocacy, community engagement, and direct service programs that support the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County.
Our Vision: That all children and youth experiencing homelessness will receive the necessary educational resources, guidance and opportunities to launch them on a path of success in school and in life.
Target demographics: Children and youth experiencing homelessness of all ages.
Geographic areas served: Our direct education services are focused primarily in Allegheny County, but we work to build awareness and outreach throughout the region and the state.
Programs: When children become homeless, the uncertainties of their situation and the accompanying emotional stress may mean they do not attend school for days, even weeks. Once back in school – often not the school they had been attending – they may have difficulty adjusting to new teachers, different expectations, and unfamiliar classmates. Children who are homeless can quickly fall behind.
HCEF is committed to advocating for the educational rights of these children and to fostering within them "hope through learning." The organization does this through extensive educational programs/services, outreach events, and collaboration within the community.
We are privileged to have as our partners in this endeavor the dedicated homeless housing agency directors and after-school program staffs and HCEF volunteers.
I have watched HCEF develop from the vision of the founder, Dr. Joe Lagana, to the efficiently functioning, program-innovative organization that it is today. HCEF exemplifies the successful melding of delivering needed programs that are ground-breaking and partnering with other social service organizations to gain synergy. Then a layer of adept public awareness and fund development allows it to grow. HCEF is deservedly a national model for delivering educational services to homeless children so as to keep them engaged in their school and career pathway .