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Second Annual Regional Youth Homelessness Conference

Creative Solutions for Displaced Youth


Current state of youth homelessness in PA
Working with special populations
Brain Power: Healing through Trauma-Informed Care
Understanding the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Foster Care Provisions
Addressing the Unique Needs of Children With Disabilities Experiencing Homelessness
Chocolate & Poverty


Fact Sheet: Education Decision Makers and Surrogate Parents in Pennsylvania

Sponsored by: PA Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness, Berks County Intermediate Unit, and Berks Coalition to End Homelessness

Keynote Speaker

Mr. Joe Willard,  Vice President for Policy People’s Emergency Center | Philadelphia, PA
Mr. Willard is the Vice President for Policy and supervises policy and research at the People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia, PA. The PEC’s mission is to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods, and drive change. The PEC acts with and on behalf of youth and families with children experiencing homelessness to advocate for urgently needed public policy change.  Prior to this role, Mr. Willard was associate manager for public policy at the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania for four years and associate director at The Reinvestment Fund’s, Regional Workforce Partnership, for four years. He earned his master’s degree from Hunter College and his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. Mr. Willard will discuss the current state of youth homelessness in Pennsylvania.

The Intersection of McKinney-Vento and IDEA

Kristina Moon, Staff Attorney
Education Law Center | Philadelphia, PA
What happens when a student experiencing homelessness also has an IEP? Learn how to appropriately navigate the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Chocolate and Poverty | Stacey Spagenburg Admissions Counselor | Milton Hershey School, Hershey, PA Gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by families in poverty and identify strategies to address these challenges. The focus will be on understanding behavioral patterns of people in poverty and accessing available resources.

Weathering Brainstorms

Mike Ritter, Public Education Coordinator
Domestic Violence Intervention| Lebanon, PA
How does a child deal with the trauma of homelessness? Participants will gain a better understanding of the impact of trauma and learn about trauma focused approaches in working with children and families.

Enhancing School & Community Collaboration

Sonia Pitzi, ECYEH Regional Coordinator
Lincoln Intermediate Unit | York, PA
Learn various ways to enhance school and community relationships. Find out how to create an atmosphere where school districts and community agencies can work together to support students experiencing homelessness. Participants will create a plan to put their ideas into action.

Best Practice for ESSA/Foster Care Implementation

Matthew Butensky, PA Foster Care Point-of-Contact
Center for Schools and Communities | Camp Hill, Pa
Participants will review the foster care guidelines under ESSA and have the opportunity to hear the Department of Education’s progress and updates. This session will also involve a discussion of best practice strategies for implementation.

PA Café: Coffee and Conversation

Kristen Hoffa Regional Coordinator
Berks County Intermediate Unit | Reading, PA
In this interactive and informal session, participants will team up with ECYEH Coordinators to have roundtable discussions on some of the more complicated areas of assisting students experiencing homelessness. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and scenarios for review.

Addressing Higher Education & Homelessness

Tori Nuccio, Assistant Director of Financial Aid
West Chester University | West Chester, PA
How can we help students experiencing homelessness achieve their goal of higher education? Participants in this session will learn how to assist students in accessing financial aid as well as learning what some colleges and universities are doing to assist these students on campus.

Registration will be online via this link: (to be provided)

Act 48 and CEU credits are available. Lunch is provided. This workshop is provided at no charge.

Questions? Contact:
Kristen Hoffa, Regional Coordinator –
Melissa DeMotta, Site Coordinator –
Tabitha Kramer, Program Specialist –
For assistance or more information, contact our regional office at 610-987-8509 or 800-510-2741.