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Homeless and Foster Care

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Students Experiencing Homelessness/Housing Instability

School counselors and district staff are committed to supporting students who may be experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Providing support for students and their families is crucial for ensuring equitable access to education and fostering academic success.

Homelessness can significantly disrupt students' lives, creating instability that can impede their ability to focus on learning. FHSD has a number of resources available to provide stability and a sense of normalcy for these students. By offering support services such as access to food, clothing, hygiene facilities and transportation assistance, the district hopes to mitigate some of the immediate challenges that students experiencing homelessness face. School counselors are available to support students academically and emotionally through challenges like this by connecting them with resources to address their individual needs. By recognizing and addressing the barriers that homelessness presents to education, FHSD works to create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive.

Some people in the community may qualify for access to these resources, but may not be aware that it might apply to them. Federal law defines students experiencing homelessness as children or youth lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:

  • Individuals who have lost their own home, suffering a financial hardship or similar reason; 
  • Individuals who are sharing the housing of others; 
  • Individuals who are living in hotels or motels or in campgrounds or trailer parks that are not viewed as year-round homes because they do not have accommodations, such as heat or running water; 
  • Individuals who are living in emergency shelters or who have been abandoned in hospitals; and 
  • ‚ÄčIndividuals who are living in cars, parks or public spaces.

It’s important to know that the law allows students who are experiencing homelessness to remain enrolled in the school they were in before becoming homeless or enroll in a school where they are living for the time being. The family of the child helps decide which situation is in the best interest of the child, and the school district will provide transportation assistance if needed.

Contact Information and Additional Resources

Anyone who wants to learn more or believes they can benefit from these supports can contact their student’s school counselor, or get in touch with FHSD’s homeless liaison, Assistant Superintendent Kim Tinsley, by calling (513) 231-3600 or emailing kimtinsley@foresthills.edu.

To learn more about the resources available through Forest Hills School District, you can find specific details in Board Policy 5111.01. The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce provides a detailed overview of many topics and resources relevant to students experiencing homelessness on its website here. Families can also find helpful information related to homelessness in the Forest Hills School District Resource List.

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