Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team (HEART)
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001 governs the important work that HEART conducts. It defines homeless students (families in transition) as those lacking a fixed, regular or adequate nighttime residence. This definition includes students (PreK-12) who are “doubled-up” sharing the housing of other persons due to their family’s loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reasons. The primary nighttime residence of students experiencing homelessness may also include motels, camping grounds, residing in emergency or transitional shelters and in some instances, living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus stations or other public places.
The ultimate goal of the McKinney-Vento Act and HEART is to remove barriers that might otherwise prevent students experiencing homelessness from enrolling, attending and succeeding in school.
WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?
- School Supplies and Uniform Items
- Coordination of Transportation to School (Certain Rules Apply)
- Referrals to School and Community Services (e.g. School Social Worker, Family Counseling, Medical, Dental and Mental Health Referrals etc.)
- Retrieval of Immunization Records and State of Florida Birth Certificates
- After School Care Services (K-8th)
- Summer Camp Opportunities
- Cap and Gown Rentals at No Cost to Graduating High School Students
- Verification Letters Needed to Apply for College and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Shelter-Based Supplemental Academic Instruction
- Presentations to Community Agencies and Civic Groups
Laurel E. Thompson, PhD., Director