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Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE)


School and Community Services is working hard to connect with our HOPE students and families.  We are making resource outreach calls to each family on the list, using our social work interns to help speed the process.  Social Work Specialists continue to work daily and are easily accessible by email.  See the main School and Community Resources page for specific contact information and more information on how to help our community.


Mt. Diablo Unified School District is committed to making sure that all students arrive at school ready and able to learn. MDUSD established the Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE) to provide educational and related services for homeless students in preschool – 12th grade. HOPE helps to provide meals for students, transportation to school if needed, and referrals to resources in the community. 

If you have reason to believe that a student is experiencing an unstable living situation or "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence," you may use the Homeless Student Recognition Checklist as a guide in addition to submitting an official MDUSD Report of Homeless Student Form.

Learn more about the rights of homeless students afforded by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act below.

Click here to view more information about credit exemption for homeless youth.


How homelessness affects students

According to First Focus, in the 2012-2013 academic year, more than 1.2 million students in public school were homeless - 8 percent more than the previous year and 85 percent more than at the beginning of the recession. Though the child poverty rate is decreasing, student homelessness is continuing to rise, presenting significant challenges for students who must deal with the instability that comes with being homeless.

As a result, students live in uncomfortable or dangerous conditions, and may not have a quiet place to do homework every night or not have a place to sleep. Ultimately, homeless students transfer schools more often, are more likely to miss school, have lower standardized test scores, and are 87 percent more likely to leave school than their peers.

What causes youth homelessness? 

Youth homelessness is often rooted in family conflict. Other contributing factors include economic circumstances like poverty and housing insecurity, racial disparities, and mental health and substance use disorders. Young people who have had involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems are also more likely to become homeless.

Many homeless youth and young adults have experienced significant trauma before and after becoming homeless and are particularly vulnerable, including victims of sexual trafficking and exploitation. Youth who identify as LGBTQ; pregnant and parenting youth; youth with special needs or disabilities, and youth of color, particularly African-American and Native American youth, are also more likely to become homeless.

Ending youth homelessness

To end their homelessness, youth and young adults need stable housing, supportive connections to caring adults, and access to mainstream services that will place them on a path to long-term success. Reunifying youth with family or a support system, when safe and appropriate, should be at the core of any approach. Young adults may also require broader education and employment supports, and may need more low-barrier short- and long-term housing options, including rapid re-housing.


The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act)

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) (42 U.S.C. § 11431-11435) is federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youths experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youths. The McKinney-Vento Act defines LEAs as public school districts, direct-funded and locally funded charter schools, and county offices of education. The McKinney-Vento Act also authorizes the funding for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program.

AB 1806 - Credit reduction

AB 1806 bill summary: Provides that if an individual with exceptional needs is a homeless child or youth, and the local educational agency has proposed a change of placement due to an act for which a decision to recommend expulsion is at the discretion of the principal or the district superintendent, the designated local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth must be invited to participate in the individualized education program team meeting that makes a manifestation determination. 

Provides if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act and the pupil is a homeless child or youth, the district board is required to provide notice of the expulsion hearing to the designated local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth. If a recommendation of expulsion is required for a homeless student, authorizes the district board to provide notice of the expulsion hearing to the designated local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth. 

Extends to homeless students an existing provision exempting foster youth who transfer schools after the 2nd year of high school from high school graduation requirements beyond statewide coursework requirements, with exceptions. Extends to homeless students an existing provision requiring coursework completed by foster youth while attending another school to be issued full or partial credit for the coursework completed, and prohibiting a district from requiring a foster child to retake a completed course.

For more information, please visit the Credit Reduction webpage.

Contact HOPE

James Wogan, LCSW
Assistant Director, School & Community Services
(925) 682-8000 x3054

Monie Bohnsack, LCSW        Social Work Specialist            (925) 682-8000 x3088

Kimberly Hendrick              Counselor - FYS and HOPE
Fax (925) 566-6692

Monument Crisis CenterMonument Crisis Center is a community-based non-profit family resource center for Central and East Contra Costa County. Located in Concord, the Center offers nutritious food, quality resources and referrals to low-income individuals and families in order to help them become stable and secure in our community. They can be reached at: 1990 Market Street, Concord, CA 94520 | Tel: (925) 825-7751 | Fax: (925) 825-8732

211 is the national, toll-free, three-digit phone number to call for information about various local health and social services. Calls are answered 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by trained information and referral specialists at the Contra Costa Crisis Center. If calling outside of Contra Costa County, use 800-830-5380. Call specialists use the database to refer callers to resources. Individuals can access the database, too, free of charge.

Dreamcatcher Shelter is the only Shelter in Alameda County for youth aged 13-18. DreamCatcher provides a vital continuum of care for homeless, disconnected youth to enable them to become healthy, productive adults. The Shelter can be reached at 800-379-1114. 

For more information about CalFresh, Medi-Cal & Social Security, contact the Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Department: 400 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA | (925) 602-9379, (877) 505-4630

Additional Resources