Keeping Homeless Youth in School is Project Goal

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. — School officials in Washtenaw County say there has been a 60 to 70 percent increase in activity in a program designed to help homeless youth educationally, according to

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District Educational Project for Homeless Youth served about 600 families in 2009-2010, its director, Peri Stone-Palmquist, told Ann

The program provides transportation to school and school supplies, among other services, according to It also trains school employees on identifying homeless youth.

The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act categorizes youth as homeless if they share housing with other families; live in shelters; live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, campgrounds or vehicles; or have a primary nighttime residence that isn't considered a regular sleeping accommodation, reported.

Azibo Stevens, Ann Arbor Public Schools' liaison to the project, told that increased awareness has contributed to the rise in families being served, but that some families still do not realize they are eligible for help.

SOURCE:, "As family homelessness rises in Washtenaw County, educational project works to help kids stay in school," Nov. 7, 2010

Michigan Education Digest, "More homeless students identified," Feb. 15, 2010