• WHEN ARE CHILDREN & YOUTH CONSIDERED HOMELESS?

     
    According to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act*, a student is considered homeless when he/she does not have a “fixed,” regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes children and youth who are:
    • Living in a shelter, including emergency/transitional shelters, domestic violence shelters and runaway and homeless youth shelters;
    • Living doubled-up with a friend, relative or someone else because their family lost their home due to eviction, foreclosure, natural disaster or economic reasons;
    • Staying in a motel, hotel, trailer park or campground because they have nowhere else to go; 
    • Staying in substandard housing;
    • Living in places not ordinarily used for sleeping, including cars, parks, public places, abandoned buildings, or bus or train stations;
    • Awaiting foster care placement (waiting to be in the legal custody of the county);
    • Abandoned in a hospital;
    • Unaccompanied youth, not living at home. This includes children and youth who:
      • were asked to leave home by a parent/legal guardian; 
      • left home without consent of parents (runaways),
      • living doubled-up without a legal guardian;
      • lack formal custody papers while their parents may be incarcerated, hospitalized or in a rehabilitation center. 


    REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210), and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.

     


    HOW DO I KEEP MY CHILDREN IN SCHOOL WHEN STAYING IN A SHELTER?


    • Your shelter case worker will identify your children to Project ACT for enrollment. Paper work will be sent to Project ACT electronically to enroll your children in school while you are in transition. 
    • If there are no shelter beds available for you and your children, you will be asked to provide places where you might be able to stay. If this happens, make sure you provide your case worker with a working phone number and an e-mail address so that Project ACT can contact you regarding your children’s school placement.
    • You have the option to keep your children at their School of Origin while you are in transition, or move them to a school closer to where you are staying.
    • When you exit the shelter permanently, notify the school and tell your case worker so that the school can initiate a record transfer. 
    If you are leaving the shelter to live doubled-up with a relative or friend, you must visit Project ACT and complete new application forms. If you are leaving the shelter for permanent housing, notify your case worker AND bring proof of residency to the school office. Make sure the school calls Project ACT to remove the Project ACT code and fax us a copy of your proof of residency.


    REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210,) and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.

     
     

    How Do I Keep My Children in School When Staying Doubled-Up up with Relatives or Friends?


    • Decide if it is feasible for your children to stay at their School of Origin, or move to a school closer to where you are currently staying. 
    • Visit the Project ACT office, located at 1111 Superior E, 2nd floor, to enroll your children and provide the address as to where you are staying. In order to get to our office from the reception area, you must have a state ID. Otherwise, a Project ACT staff worker may have to meet you in the reception area.

    Please bring the following documents with you:
    • Immunization Records*
    • Birth Certificates*
    • Academic/School Records*
    • IEP and ETR if appropriate
    • Court/Custody records (if applicable)
    *(Project ACT can help you obtain these documents at a later date) 
    If you move from one doubled-up situation to another place, you must visit Project ACT and complete new enrollment forms.



    REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210,) and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.

     

    Will My Children Get Transportation?

     
    • Kindergarten students through Grade 5 will receive transportation if they live more than one mile away from their school, either bus tickets or a yellow bus will be provided.
    • Grade 6 through High School students will receive transportation if they live more than ½ miles away from their school (RTA Transit Card only). 
    • Eligible students will receive transportation via Yellow Bus or RTA Transit Card.
    • If you have not been notified about transportation for your children after 24 hours, please call the Transportation Department at 216-634-7032. 

    Additional Transportation Telephone Numbers:
    • School transportation 216. 838.4287
    • East 49th St. Depot/Dispatch: (Pick Up/ Drop Off/ Times only (must have bus #) 216.441.8229
    • Lake Center Depot ……………… 216.432.4600
    • Central Dispatch (morning)……… 216.441.8232
    • Central Dispatch (evenings)… 216.441.8233
    • Information for School Cab ………… 216.634.7039
    • Information about Field Trips………… 216.634.2586
    • Information about Athletic Field Trips 216.634.7039


    How Will Project ACT Help My Students?


    • Provide immediate enrollment of your children in school, even if you do not have their birth certificates, immunization records or school records available (Project ACT will help you obtain these documents at a later date);
    • Instructional and support services during school hours by Project ACT Life Skills Coaches (in selected Kindergarten through Grade 8 schools);
    • Support services for students in Grades 9-12, and assistance with the OGT’s, college applications and scholarship information, registration for the SAT’s or ACT’s, and securing student loans; 
    • Assistance to Unaccompanied Youth (18 years +) to obtain medical coverage, food stamps and social security, if needed;
    • Counseling services through Beechbrook (Kindergarten – Grade 12); 
    • Educational assessments for students referred to the school’s Student Support Team (SST) by the classroom teacher or a Project ACT Life Skills Coach;
    • Weekly food bags (in partnership with the Cleveland Food Bank) & milk coupons at selected schools;
    • Monthly participation in The Reading Company, a literacy program at Playhouse Square’s IDEA Center, that captures the joy of reading for children and their families (Click here for more information);
    • Reader of the Month Awards for students who have demonstrated reading growth (Click here for more information);
    • Programs for Shelter Families that include Mom and Me (an early intervention program), All About Me (personalized booklets with important family information and facts), and Learning Dolls (cultural and gender specific dolls that become “Special Friends” that aid in school readiness skills for preschoolers and kindergarten students) Click here for more information;
    • Summer programs (June only). 


    REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210,) and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.



    What Should I Do if I Don’t Have A Place to Stay?


    • Women must go in person to register at Central Intake, located at the Norma Herr Women’s Shelter, 2219 Payne Avenue, Cleveland, 44114. 
    • Men (18year+) must go in person to Central Intake, located at 2100 E. Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, 44114.
    • The shelter case worker will identify your children to Project ACT. Paper work will be sent to Project ACT to enroll your children in school or keep your children in their School of Origin while you are transition. (Always consider, what is in the best interest of the student?) 
    • If there are no shelter beds available for you and your children, you will be asked if there may be some place where you might be able to stay. If this happens, make sure you provide your case worker with a working phone number and/or an email address so that Project ACT will be able to contact you regarding the school placement for your children. 
    • The law states that, “you have the option to keep your children in their School of Origin or move them to a school closer to where you are staying. (Consider, what is in the best interest of each student.)
    • REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210,) and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.



    CONGRATULATIONS!
    YOU ARE MOVING INTO PERMANENT HOUSING!
    WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NOW?


    • Notify your school office of your new address and bring proof of residency with you. Proof of residency documents include any one of the following: 
      • a valid signed lease (must match your State ID); 
      • a recent utility bill;
      • a recent bank statement; 
      • a home owners mortgage;
      • a bank/credit card letter.
    • Make sure the school calls Project ACT at 216-838-0210 to remove the Project ACT code from student records, and fax Project ACT a copy of your proof of residency (Fax: 216 – 436-5158).
    • Make sure your children have a chance to say good-bye to friends and teachers.
    • Turn in all text books and library books that belong to the school you are leaving.
    • Best wishes to you and your family in your new residence. We would like you to continue to join us at The Reading Company. 
    • Call the Project ACT office at 216-838-0243 to make a reservation for you and your family.

     REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210,) and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.

     



    HOW CAN PARENTS HELP IMPROVE THEIR CHILDREN’S ACADEMIC SUCCESS?


    • Make sure your children attend school on time each day ready to learn;
    • Make sure your children are on time for school breakfast;
    • If your children are late or absent, make sure you send a note as to the reason why they were not in attendance. If you do not send a note, an unexcused absence will count against your children; 
    • Read with your children at least 20 minutes a day (join a public library for age-appropriate books);
    • Make education a family priority;
    • Help your children develop good study and work habits;
    • Make sure your children have at least 8 hours of sleep each night;
    • Tell your children that you love them, and that you want them to do well in school and life;
    • Visit schools and communicate with each of your children’s teachers, and Project ACT Life Skills Coach; and
    • Be an active parent in all school activities. Always attend parent-child conferences and Open School House events. Your participation is very important.

    REMEMBER, whenever your address, phone number, or Email address changes, you must notify Project ACT (216 .838.0210,) and the school your children are attending in case of emergency. This is very important for your student’s safety.

     
     
     
    *The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federally funded program that eliminates barriers that may prevent homeless children and youth to enroll, attend and succeed in school.