This week, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) approved thirteen additional American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’s Homeless Children and Youth Fund (ARP-HCY) state plans, bringing the total to 41 plans approved. States are continuing to commit to utilizing the $800 million in funding provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) for identifying and supporting students experiencing homelessness and connecting them to wrap around services. The Department released the $800 million to states earlier this year.
These plans continue to exhibit the hard work by states to expand opportunity for students experiencing homelessness and their families. For example:
The state education agency of Washington D.C. will be using a portion of the funding to provide competitive grants to community-based organizations to identify children and youth experiencing homelessness, particularly those experiencing homelessness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state of Nebraska has established a partnership with the Nebraska Continuum of Care, to help identify community-based organizations across the state that can partner with the state and school districts to provide needed wrap-around services for students and youth experiencing homelessness.
In Montana, all subgrantees of ARP-HCY funding will work to support students experiencing homelessness, particularly students in Native communities, by providing programs and services that recognize the cultural heritage of the state’s American Indian tribes.
And Oregon, in response to a series of wildfires in 2020, will be using a portion of ARP HCY funding to increase school, district, and community capacity to identity and reengage students who are experiencing homelessness.
Throughout the State plan review process, ED has emphasized the importance of States getting funds to school districts as quickly as possible, encouraging strong partnerships with community-based organizations, and strategies that build capacity to identify students experiencing homelessness and provide wraparound services to meet their full needs.
More information about each State’s ARP-HCY plan can be found here: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/american-rescue-plan/american-rescue-plan-elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-homeless-children-youth-arp-hcy/arp-hcy-state-plans.