610-987-2248   |   info@berksiu.org

Pennsylvania’s Education For Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program


Children experiencing homelessness have the right to a stable education and we can help put them on the path to success.

The Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness program (ECYEH) is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and is based on the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This federal legislation ensures that homeless children and youth have access to a free, appropriate, public education.

Our team is committed to ensuring that all students experiencing homelessness have the opportunity to succeed in school. We eliminate barriers to education, educate the community about the nature of homelessness, and provide support to schools, families, and communities.

Design a Bedroom

A Homeless Youth Awareness Contest

Homelessness is a real issue in Berks County. More than 2,000 students identify as homeless in our area. Mary’s Shelter’s STRONG Program is adding 20 bedrooms for unaccompanied homeless youth ages 16-22. We need your creative design skills!

Design a Bedroom Contest - Click for Details


The ECYEH program in Region 2 serves Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties and is administered by the Berks County Intermediate Unit.

How the Region 2 ECYEH program can help:

  • HELP with school enrollment and placement
  • PROVIDE community referrals
  • COORDINATE transportation and support services
  • IMPLEMENT tutoring and enrichment services
  • ASSIST with obtaining supplies necessary for school
  • SUPPLY training and outreach to school districts, families, and communities
Map of ECYEH Region 2


Children and youth are eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act if they have been displaced from their homes and are living in a place that is not fixed, regular, or adequate, such as:

  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
  • In a place not designated as regular sleeping accommodation, such as a vehicle, park, hotel, or campground
  • In a homeless or domestic violence shelter or transitional housing placement
  • Outside of his/her home as an unaccompanied youth
  • Awaiting foster care
  • In any of the situations listed above as the child of a migrant family


Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

  • Continue their education in their current school, and receive transportation OR enroll immediately in the school where they are temporarily housed, even if lacking the paperwork normally required
  • Participate in all applicable school programs, including supplemental services
  • Receive free lunch
  • Receive assistance with school-related expenses such as supplies, clothing, uniforms, etc.


We provide training on the following topics:

  • McKinney-Vento 101 – Looking for a basic overview of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act? This training is for you. Participants will gain an understanding of the challenges faced by students experiencing homelessness, including the specific challenges faced by unaccompanied youth. Characteristics of homelessness and identification strategies will be explored. An online poverty simulation can be added to this training.
  • Foster Care – This training will provide a basic overview of school district responsibilities for foster care youth, under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act. Collaboration strategies and best practices in working with foster care youth will be explored.
  • Transporting Students Experiencing Homelessness – This training will focus specifically on school district transportation requirements for students experiencing homelessness, as required by the McKinney-Vento Act. Best practices and creative transportation solutions will be explored.
  • Homelessness in Early Childhood – Learn about the unique challenges faced by children experiencing homelessness in early childhood and their rights under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This training will focus on preschool, early intervention and Head Start program.

Homeless Awareness Workshops for Students:

  • Book Club
  • Families in Transition

>> Click here for a printable version of training opportunities.



Kristen Hoffa, Regional Coordinator – krihof@berksiu.org

Melissa DeMotta, Program Specialist – meldem@berksiu.org

Tabitha Kramer, Program Specialist – tabkra@berksiu.org

For assistance or more information, contact our regional office at 610-987-8509 or 800-510-2741.

Program Contact Info

Kristen Hoffa

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