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What is project access?

The Stewart B. McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act authorizes direct services that enable homeless children, including preschool-aged children and youth, to enroll, attend, and achieve success in school. Duval County Public Schools' homeless education program is entitled PROJECT ACCESS. The primary goal of PROJECT ACCESS is to ensure that barriers are reduced or eliminated so that the students served in the program will enroll and attend school.

Goals

  • To identify children and youth who are homeless
  • To enroll homeless children in school
  • To provide intervention services to homeless students
  • To track homeless students
  • To provide awareness training to School Board staff, students, parents, and community agencies

Homeless Definition

The term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence... and includes-(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement; (ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings...(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and (iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii). The term "unaccompanied youth" includes a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

Services Available

  • Assistance with school enrollment
  • Assistance with obtaining school records
  • Tutorial services
  • Assistance with transportation to school, appointments, etc.
  • Assistance with obtaining appointments for medical examinations, immunizations, etc.
  • Assistance with obtaining dental check-ups and birth certificates
  • Assistance with clothing and school supplies

Student Eligibility

Project Access serves homeless children and youth from birth to 21 years of age. This includes children who are eligible for Head Start, Even Start, and preschool programs administered by the Local Education Agency (LEA).

Referral Procedures

Teachers, principals, school social workers, parents, school psychologists, students, and community agency staff may refer individuals in the community. Contact Student Services at 390-2528.

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