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FAMILIES IN TRANSITION (FIT)

Lisa Hughey

lisa.hughey@fayar.net

Families in Transition Coordinator
Fayetteville Public Schools
(479) 973-8653

The face of homelessness is a child. A child who may have moved three times this year, may be living with a family or in a shelter, and may have changed schools numerous times. A child in this situation may find themselves worried about how they will get their basic needs met. Our goal is to provide resources to help each student feel safe and secure, so they can focus on their learning while at school.

FPS is trying to make a difference. The FIT Program, with the assistance of the McKinney-Vento (M-V) Homeless Assistance Act, is helping children and families with enrollment, transportation, and school meals. We can also assist children and families with clothing, school supplies, and connect them to resources in the community. Each year, FPS identifies hundreds of students, who under the M-V Act, meet the guidelines for homeless.

Causes of homelessness:

  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Deep Poverty
  • Health Problems
  • Domestic Violence
  • Natural and other disasters
  • Abuse/Neglect (unaccompanied youth)

Barriers to education for homeless children and youth:

  • Enrollment requirements (school records, immunizations, proof of residence, and guardianship)
  • High mobility resulting in lack of school stability and education continuity
  • Lack of access to programs
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of school supplies, clothing, etc.
  • Poor health fatigue, hunger

Who are homeless children and youth?

Individuals who lack a fixed, adequate, and regular nighttime residence such as those:

  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • Living in hotels, motels, or campgrounds due to lack of affordable housing
  • Awaiting foster care placement
  • Children abandoned in hospitals
  • Sleeping in public or private places not designed as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans
  • Living with others due to lack of permanent housing as a result of economic hardship
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Unaccompanied Youth
  • Migratory children living in the above situations