I was the former Associate Commissioner of the Family and Youth Services Bureau, which administers Homeless Youth programs for HHS. Over the years NAEHCY has made a concerted effort to support older homeless youth and their educational needs. This is an extremely difficult population to program for because of their transient status and lack of family support. I have been very excited to see this relationship evolve.
NAEHCY works tirelessly to improve access to education for children and youth experiencing homelessness. NAEHCY is the national expert on laws, legislation, policy and practice regarding education for students without housing. It is an invaluable resource to other professionals throughout the country working to improve educational outcomes. Students in homeless situation have a greater chance to succeed due to NAEHCY's dedicated efforts.
NAEHCY is a true great non-profit. It has taken the lead in the nation for the education of homeless children and provides the forum , the information, the network and support for all the professionals in the nation working to see that homeless children's rights under the federal law are upheld. They are available, personal, and consistent over many many years. I have attended 8 of their national conferences and that has been the main support of my work for the 10 years I have been serving homeless children and families.
I work at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and frequently both support and receive support from my colleagues at NAEHCY. They do amazing work with limited staff and resources, are leaders in the field, and their work helps hundreds of thousands of homeless children stay in school each year.
NEACHY provides valuable information and resources to local public school districts on the status of homelessness in America. It provides ways of connecting with other school districts. Their national conference is always a great experience offering creative ways to reach out and provide services to those students and families in need.
I have been a member of NAEHCY for many years, have attended a number of the National conferences on Homeless Education, and use their programs and services regularlyy! NAEHCY is THE VOICE of the homeless child and I am proud to be part of the movement and the organization!
In 1996, when I accepted a school district homeless education liaison position, I had decades of experience in education and social services, but none specific to homelessness. NAEHCY was mentor and support, always accessible and offering guidance, answers, and concrete materials to teach me so I could, in turn, most effectively reach homeless families and, students, school staff and our community. Over fifteen years in that position I have observed that NAEHCY's ability as a dedicated advocate is unparalleled
I work with a large high school District as Coordinator of Child Welfare and Attendance and they have been a valuable resource to me.
In my work with families in transition, I often have questions about how to handle situations and how to get the services and other things my families need. Any time I contact NAEHCY, they always have a prompt answer or solution to my problem. These people really know what they're doing and how to help people who are at their most vulnerable.
When I became coordinator for our homeless students, NAEHCY was a huge source of support in terms of free resources as well as legislative and education support. NAEHCY was also an important source for my research on homeless education programs.
NAEHCY serves an invaluable purpose by providing the most up to date information about educational rights and programs for children and youth who are homeless. My most recent experience with this organization was getting clarification of students' rights based upon the McKinney Vento Education law when a school district is "redistricting," and many of the schools of origin will no longer exist with the same students and staff or with the same program focus. School community stability is critical to the well being of students who are homeless.
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. It has been an absolute honor to work within such an amazing group of diverse, passionate, dedicated people, all determined to positively influence the lives of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. NAEHCY harnesses the expertise, energy, and good will of its vast membership and uses it to shape federal, state and local policy, practice, and law; therefore impacting children and youth and their families across the nation. NAEHCY identifies and promotes best practices through media channels, publications, and the annual conference. It helps educate jursidictional leaders, legislators, advocates, school administrators, teachers, social workers, shelter staff, and other direct service providers so that collectively, we are able to meet the needs of our children and youth experiencing homelessness. Without NAEHCY, we would not have nearly the level of interconnectedness and coordination needed to achieve results.
NAEHCY is an amazing organization run by passionate advocates, many of whom work as volunteers. NAEHCY organizes a conference every year for professionals in the field of homeless education and homeless services. They provide technical expertise and advocacy for people working with homeless children and youth at all levels of service provision – local, community, school district, regional, state, and among peers at the national level. Just one example of their great work: A student in a western state had been homeless for 6 years and had not had a stable home during that time where he could complete school. Given all those challenges, he was about 2 years behind schedule in completing high school. He turned 19 but was completing 10th grade. This student had talent as a singer and had won many school and regional competitions, but he was denied the ability to compete at the state level. The state office on extracurricular sports and activities said that he was too old to compete in singing with other high school students. Their reasoning was that his advanced age created an unfair advantage for him over other children and youth. NAEHCY advocates assisted the state education office in understanding the student’s rights under the law and also in recognizing how critical extracurricular sports and activities are to all students, since those competitions might create scholarship and job opportunities. This particular student was not at any advantage over other students, since he had not had a consistent school experience and had an unstable home life that disrupted his education. By competing, this student had the opportunity to earn recognition that could help him in supporting his future educational needs. Extracurricular activities help kids in many other ways as well, from building leadership skills to networking; this kind of involvement helps to develop the whole person and offers a complete education. These battles are fought every day in communities all over the country. I, for one, am so thankful that NAEHCY is there to provide expertise and support to professionals in the field of homeless education.