For immediate assistance, please dial 211 (7 days a wk, 24 hrs a day) from your phone to access United Way's shelter assistance.
The main purpose of the Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is to make sure homeless youth have access to free and appropriate public education while removing barriers that homeless children face. Its goal is to have the educational process continue as uninterrupted as possible while the children are in homeless situations. Some of the other main objectives of the Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program are to inform local school districts of their responsibilities to homeless children and youth, to increase awareness about the needs of homeless children, explain current legislation and policies, and provide practical tips for working with homeless children.
On July 22, 1987, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act became public law. This was the first comprehensive federal law dealing with the problems of homelessness in America. Recently included in the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, it is now called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001.
Children who are "homeless" and entitled to the protections of the federal law include:
(i) children and youth who are sharing housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals;
(ii) childern 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;
(iii) children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
(iv) "migratory children"- children who are migratory agricultural workers, dairy workers, fishermen who have moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months in order to obtain temporary or seasonal employment in agriculture or fishing work; and,
(v) "unaccompanied homeless youth" including any child who is "not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian." This includes youth who have run away from home, been thrown out of their home, been abandoned by parents or guardians, or separated from their parents for any other reason.