Resources available for students in temporary housing
One of the hardest parts about Dr. Debra Fuchs Nadeau’s job is trying to change the mental image that most of us think of when we hear the word “homeless.”
Many of us visualize an older man or woman, sitting outside and holding up a sign,” she said. “But that’s not always the case.”
As the McKinney Vento Act Grant Coordinator for Students in Temporary Housing for the Liberty Central School District, Dr. Fuchs Nadeau is responsible for helping students who are living in temporary housing work through the challenges and stressors of homelessness – but that’s not to say the students and families she works with are actually out on the street.
Family homelessness takes many forms. The term “homeless children and youth” includes students who:
• lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence;
• continually spend the night at a friend or family members home or live in hotels, motels, trailer parks or camping grounds;
• live in emergency or transitional shelters, are abandoned in hospitals, awaiting foster care placement; or
• otherwise does not have a fixed, regular or adequate nighttime residence with proper sleeping accommodations.
Families of students who meet the eligibility requirements should contact Dr. Fuchs Nadeau to discuss your rights and protections under this federal program, which include:
• the right to either remain in their school of origin or to attend school where they are temporarily residing;
• assistance in obtaining records from previously attended schools;
• full participation in all school sponsored events and programs; and
• immediate enrollment in the school’s free breakfast and lunch program.
As coordinator, Dr. Fuchs Nadeau assists the Student Services Department in ensuring that the needs of students in temporary living situations are met.
Although Dr. Fuchs Nadeau said she believes the number of students living in temporary housing is rising—both at Liberty and in districts across the state—it can be difficult to get an accurate assessment of how many students are in need.
The Liberty Central School District, with the support of McKinney Vento grant funds, regularly tracks homeless youths in order to give them the help that they need, from school supplies, personal care supplies and laundry vouchers to mentoring and tutoring.
If you or someone you know could benefit from the assistance under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, please contact Dr. Fuchs Nadeau (DFuchsnadeau@Libertyk12.org) or Director of Student Services Dr. Kathleen Bressler (KBressler@libertyk12.org.) All information is confidential.
What is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act?
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is federal legislation that discusses the public education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Under McKinney-Vento and state law, students are considered homeless if they lack a nighttime residence that is fixed, regular, and adequate.
To help determine if a student is eligible, the school district asks two questions when a student enrolls.
1. Is your current address a temporary living arrangement?
2. Is this temporary living arrangement due to loss of housing or economic hardship?
Eligible students can receive services under the McKinney-Vento Act which entitles them to immediate enrollment in school, transportation, and other services.
If you believe you may qualify for services under the McKinney-Vento Act please contact Dr. Debra Fuchs Nadeau, Coordinator for Students in Temporary Housing at (845) 292-5400 ext. 2309 or the district’s Central Registration office at (845) 292-5400 ext. 2331.