A National Campaign Building a Stronger Future for Homeless Students

More than 1.3 million homeless students K-12 have been identified in America’s public schools


Goals of the Campaign

Education Leads Home is the only national campaign focused on closing educational achievement and attainment gaps for homeless students.

By 2026, young children experiencing homelessness will participate in quality early childhood programs at the same rate as their housed peers

A 90% high school graduation rate for homeless students by 2030

A 60% post-secondary attainment rate for homeless students by 2034

Upcoming Events

  • [Webinar] Improving School Attendance for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Model School-Shelter Partnership 

    Monday, May 6, 2019, 1:00 – 2:15PM EDT \\ This webinar will share the innovative model developed by the Improving School Attendance for Homeless Children (ISAHC) program in New York City, which provides new training and coordination resources to identify, address, and manage multiple systemic, intergenerational, and logistical barriers to improving school attendance among students experiencing homelessness.

    Participants will learn how the program is data-informed and purposefully designed to rely predominantly on existing resources (adding only minimal new costs; use a team approach, and employ evidence-based practices at the individual and systems levels. The collaborative ISAHC team, the most significant feature of the model, brings together staff from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and shelter provider staff to analyze and address the issues underlying school absences. Participants will also learn how to track student attendance progress using simple data analysis techniques and how to use attendance data as a tool for identifying families with complex challenges. Finally, participants will hear about methods for improving school attendance from the first day of homelessness, at coordinated entry systems, schools and shelters.

  • [Webinar] Identifying Students Experiencing Homelessness: How Small Changes in Email Communications Can Achieve Big Results

    Monday, May 20, 2019, 1:00 – 2:15PM EDT \\ Schools often struggle to identify children and youth experiencing homelessness, but identification is a critical first step in providing the support needed for educational success. This webinar will share the creation and results of a pilot project and study executed by the Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) within the General Services Administration. The project used insights from behavioral science to develop new email communication materials to share simplified information on homelessness with school district homeless liaisons and superintendents in New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. These simplified emails were designed to help school districts accurately identify homeless students in their districts and schools. Throughout the webinar, one member of the OES project development team and representatives from the New York and New Mexico teams will share their insights and experiences so that practitioners in other school districts and states can replicate the project and improve the identification of students experiencing homelessness.

Recent News

  • Education Leads Home State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project

    Education Leads Home announces a first-of-its-kind partnership that brings together policymakers and practitioners from six states — California, Kentucky, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — with the goal of overcoming child and youth homelessness through education. Through the partnership, each state is committed to researching and implementing replicable best practices that address the most urgent needs of their unique homeless student populations.

  • Education Leads Home Releases Homeless Student State Snapshots

    State-level data shows that homeless students graduate on time at significantly lower rates than their housed peers. In fact, data from the National Center for Homeless Education1 released this week found a national average graduation rate of just 64 percent for homeless students, as compared to the low-income rate of 77.6 percent, and 84.1 percent for all students.

  • Guide to Using Sesame Street in Communities’ Resources on Family Homelessness

    More than one million American children under the age of six experience the trauma of homelessness. Additionally, public schools have identified 1.3 million children experiencing homelessness in grades K-12.

    Using the story of Lily, a resilient, hopeful Muppet whose family is experiencing homelessness, Sesame Street developed a set of free, bilingual resources for children and families experiencing homelessness and the providers who serve them. Also, because there is a role for all of us in supporting children and families experiencing homelessness, we offer age-appropriate strategies and activities for both the general public and for children and youth who wish to support their peers.

  • Risk and Resilience: Differences in Risk Factors and Health Outcomes Between Homeless and Non-Homeless Students in 2017 YRBS Data

    The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was first developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1990 to assess the health risk behaviors of youth and adults in the United States. For the first time since the survey has been widely administered, the 2017 YRBS optional question list included two questions pertaining to homelessness. Using this YRBS data from 17 states (Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin), we conducted an analysis of differences in seven self-reported risk factors and health outcomes between high school students experiencing homelessness and those not experiencing homelessness.

  • Academic outcomes for students experiencing homelessness are far worse than those for housed students

    A new in-depth analysis by Schoolhouse Washington finds that students of color are impacted disproportionately and outcomes are poor no matter the type of living situation.

Join us

Education Leads Home is working to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in this country. Join us in building a stronger future for homeless children and students.


Hidden in Plain Sight

Drawn from the voices of youth, this report details the struggles of homeless students and provides insight into helping them achieve academic success.

State Progress Reports

Learn more about the state of child and youth homelessness in your state.

Common Questions About Homelessness and Education

List of common questions about children and youth who are experiencing homelessness.

Tools and Resources on Early Childhood and Homelessness

Resources to help you learn about the needs of young children experiencing homelessness, and how communities can meet their needs.

Tools and Resources on PreK-12 and Homelessness

Carefully-compiled resources on federal preK-12 law and policy, including tools, innovative practices, and the latest research.

Tools and Resources on Higher Education and Homelessness

Resources to help you learn the challenges facing college students who are homeless, and how higher ed institutions and communities can meet their needs.

Webinars on Education and Homelessness

Check out upcoming webinars hosted by SchoolHouse Connection and industry experts on the topic of homelessness and education.

The Lasting Influence of Homelessness on Student Achievement

The negative effects of housing instability are known, but this policy brief suggests that these effects do not end when a student is stably housed.

The Invisible Million

Learn more about student homelessness where you live and work with the new tool, The United States of Student Homelessness.

Core Partners

As national leaders in their fields, SchoolHouse Connection, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness have released groundbreaking research and powerful resources relevant to education and child & youth homelessness.

These four organizations are partners in the work of the Education Leads Home campaign.

Social Hub


The Education Leads Home campaign is possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.

The Education Leads Home campaign is funded in part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness). The Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of Californians. Cal Wellness is dedicated to promoting equity through advocacy and access.