Homeless Families and Children

Adopted July 1988 – Revised August 2020 – Health & Community Concerns Commission 

Homelessness is a devastating experience for families.  Thousands of families a year will experience homelessness. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 41% of the homeless population is comprised of families.

Homelessness disrupts virtually every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of family members, interfering with children’s education and development, and frequently resulting in the separation of family members.

California State PTA believes:

  • All children should have access to safe and affordable housing;
  • All homeless children should have the same access to a free, appropriate public education and early childhood education opportunities as provided to other children and youth with barriers to enrollment caused by their homeless situation removed to every extent possible;
  • All school personnel should help identify and refer eligible school-age students to the local school district liaison to help them with access to resources and assistance available from the school district, as guaranteed by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001;
  • School personnel should take special care in the identification and aid provided to homeless children and youth so that the stigma of being homeless has as little impact as possible;
  • Homeless youth with multiple high school placements should be afforded accommodations as necessary to be able to earn a high school diploma that falls short of local district course requirements but takes into account the courses taken by the student, and meets or exceeds state graduation requirements.

PTA urges all government agencies, non-profit organizations and citizen groups to cooperate in the development and implementation of programs that:

  • Provide temporary shelters for homeless families and their children, working to keep the family intact;
  • Give assistance to homeless families in securing low-cost, safe housing in their community;
  • Offer educational and retraining programs to help parents and guardians develop the skills to secure employment that will enable the family to be self-sufficient;
  • Facilitate or provide access to mental and physical health services, counseling and other available social services to help the family thrive.
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