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McKinney-Vento / Helping Hands

KASD's Student & Family Support Program

KASD works to serve K-12 students who are experiencing homelessness and other life challenges. Assistance is provided through programs, personnel, and strategies that integrate various services that span the  spectrum of human services. KASD’s efforts are designed to reduce isolation, maximize stability and maintain consistency for children and youth who are affected by homelessness and other difficult life conditions.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that guarantees all children and youth the right to an equal education regardless of their living situation.  Protection under the McKinney-Vento Act extends to those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. 

Kutztown Area School District provides the following Annual Notice to parents and guardians of Kutztown Area School District students in accordance with the regulations set forth by the McKinney-Vento Act (Homeless Students).

What situations fit this definition?  

  • Staying in the home of other people due to unavailable housing, financial hardship, or similar circumstances.  
  • Living in motels, hotels, bus / train stations, cars, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, public places, or campgrounds due to unavailable suitable housing options.  
  • Refugee and migrant youth living in the above circumstances. 
  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing.  
  • Unaccompanied (not living in direct care of legal parent or guardian) or runaway youth.  

How does McKinney-Vento help these students? 

The McKinney-Vento Act works to ensure these students receive a free and appropriate public education by removing barriers to school enrollment and providing full, basic, and daily participation in school activities. Associated services and rights include:  

  • Immediate enrollment
  • Free School Lunch
  • Help from school with any necessary enrollment documents
  • Help from school setting up transportation service
  • Help from school with getting basic uniform clothing  
  • Help from school with basic school supplies  
  • Help from school with any basic clothing needs 
  • School stability, by remaining at their "school of origin."

What is the definition of a “homeless youth” under McKinney-Vento? 

“Homeless” is defined as “anyone lacking a fixed, adequate, regular nighttime residence.” 

Student & Family Support Liaison

Contact our Student & Family Support Liaison to determine if your child is McKinney-Vento eligible and/or to request support services.

Dr. Edward L. Myers
Assistant Superintendent
Tele: 610-683-7361 ext. 5532
 
Each school building in the Kutztown Area School District has a McKinney-Vento / Helping Hands Coordinator. Learn more about our program here and scroll through this page to find our list of resources and support services.
 

Community / County Resources & Supports

 
Berks County Mental Health Community Resources:
 

Homeless Shelters (and other resources):

BCC Transitional Bridge House for Women & Children (Reading)
1018 Cotton Street, Reading, PA 19602
 
LightHouse Women and Children’s Shelter (Reading) 
(women & children only)
 
Sixth Street Shelter (Allentown)
 
Hope Rescue Mission (Reading)
(men only)
 
Allentown Rescue Mission 
(men only)
 
Mary’s Shelter (Reading) for homeless youth
(also provides maternity and women’s services)
 
Family Promise of Berks County (Reading)
(case management, youth homelessness, rental and utility assistance)
 
SafeBerks (Reading):
(domestic violence shelter / assistance)
 
Opportunity House (Reading)
 
Berks Community Action Program
 
Hannah's Hope (Reading)
Transitional housing and support for mothers with children
 
Berks Coalition to End Homelessness
 

Rental/Utility Assistance (and other Resources):

Salvation Army
 
Friend, Inc. Community Services
658D Noble Street, Kutztown, PA 19530
610-683-7790
Friend, Inc. makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities, and provides intensive case management along with possible financial assistance to homeless families. Possible financial assistance may be provided for rent or specified emergency needs for those with open cases.
Documentation needed for rent or utility assistance:
●          Copy of ID or License
●          Copy of Current Lease
●          Proof of income
●          Utility bill
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Office of Community Services: An office of the Administration for Children & Families
Qualifying households may receive cash benefits to assist with heating bills, crisis benefits to resolve heating emergencies, and weatherization/ energy conservation assistance to provide long range solutions to the heating problems of low-income households.
 
Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP)
Customers of FirstEnergy may be eligible for the Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program and/or a hardship grant. PCAP is designed to help income qualified residential customers maintain electric service and eliminate their past due balance. The Hardship Program provides one-time assistance grants that are applied directly to a limited-income household’s utility bill.
Are you eligible for PCAP?
●          Must have an active residential electric account
●          Must have a gross household income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
●          Must provide annual verification of income and identification of all household members
●          Must participate in LIHEAP and WARM, if eligible
●          The person whose name is on the account must live in the home
 

Food Pantries (ande other Resources):

Noble Street Pantry (Friend, Inc.)
610-683-7791
First Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each month by appointment
610-683-7791
 
Noble Street Open Pantry (Friend, Inc.) (no appointment needed)
Third Thursday, 6:00-7:00 pm
and Third Friday, 10:30 – 11:30 am
 
Mobile Market

First Thursday, 3:30-4:30 pm
Huff’s Union Church, 540 Conrad Road, Alburtis
No appointment necessary

Helping Harvest

Call Helping Harvest at 610-926-5802 x206 to be guided to food assistance in your local community.
 
New Journey Outreach
 
Bed and Blanket Assistance/Delivery:
 
Blankets of Hope PA
 

Clothing

Community Aid
 
Goodwill
 
Once Again Thrift Store
15260 Kutztown Road
Kutztown, PA 19530
 
Opp Shop
 
The Rudden Family Foundation
 

Medical Health

Berks Health Clinic
 

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs 

Hope Springs Clubhouse
40 Kenhorst Blvd., Reading, Pa 19607
484-650-0198
 
Mosaic House
525 Franklin Street
Reading, PA 19602
610-375-7840
 

Mental Health Assistance

 
Council on Chemical Abuse
 
Beacon House
821 Schuylkill Avenue
Reading, PA 19601
 

Transportation

Commute PA
 
BARTA
 

Employment

Career Link
 
Gage Personnel
 

National Resources & Supports 

·       National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth – Through advocacy, partnerships, and education, NAEHCY serves as a voice and social conscience for the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

·       National Center for Homeless Education – NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education.

·       National Network for Youth – NN4Y works to create a community of agencies, people and resources to champion the needs of homeless and runaway youth, to ensure that opportunities for growth and development be available to youth everywhere.

Informational Resources & Documents

For more information about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations, the Kutztown Area School District policies / procedures, and other key resources, please refer to the following documents:

McKinney-Vento Act - Pennsylvania Department of Education

Unaccompanied Youth – Law Into Practice

McKinney Vento Notice

B.E.C. 42 U.S.C. 11431

Berks County Intermediate Unit ECYEH Region 2 

KASD School Board Policy 251 - Homelessness

Disputar Carta - Espanol

Dispute Letter - English

KASD McKinney-Vento Procedures

BCIU ECYEH Brochure

Pennsylvania ECYEH Guide

ECYEH FAQs

McKinney-Vento Espanol

McKinney-Vento English

Encuentra Tu Camino en PA

Finding Your Way in PA App