Falling Through the Cracks: Homeless Youth Need Natural Mentors




Le, Desiree Viramontes

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Texas Education Review


The current Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which contains the most recent reauthorization of the McKinney Vento Act (M-V), places a focus on homeless youth that is intended to facilitate access to K-12 education, higher education and eliminate barriers in-between the two. Through each reauthorization of the McKinney Vento Act since its enactment in 1987, homeless youth have gained more and more access to key school personnel and academic support. Yet homeless youth still face barriers to accessing education and postsecondary success. Currently homeless liaisons, specially designated people in K-12 settings, work daily to assist youth who are homeless with issues surrounding barriers to housing, transportation, public education and higher education access. This paper examines homeless liaisons along with other school personnel as natural mentors with practices found in the McKinney Vento Act to support this vulnerable, invisible population with appropriate steps to eliminate the youth homeless to adult homeless pipeline.



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