Project Connect Program
What is the Project Connect Program?
Authorized under Federal law through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, the Columbus City Schools’ Project Connect Program provides services to ensure that identified children and youth experiencing homelessness have access to a free and appropriate public education by removing barriers due to homelessness. As advocates for educational rights, there are various services the program provides to assist families in transition.
How can the Project Connect Program help?
Project Connect works with students, parents, Columbus City Schools (CCS) employees, partner agencies, and other local school districts to provide assistance with:
- school selection and enrollment
- school transportation
- wellness checks and on-going social and emotional support
- book bags and school supplies for students
- assistance with high school graduation fees and expenses
- addressing barriers that affect school attendance and full participation
- obtaining necessary documents such as birth certificates, school records, and medical records
- dispute resolution regarding school choice and enrollment
Who may qualify for the Project Connect Program?
The term “children and youth experiencing homelessness” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time residence. It includes those who are:
- sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of home, economic hardship, or similar reason
- living in motels or hotels
- staying in trailer parks or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- living in emergency or transitional shelters
- abandoned in hospitals
- living on their own, such as youth who have run away or have been put out of their home
How do families access homeless services through CCS?