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Homeless Ally Training

Last Date:

810 First St. NE
Eighth Floor, 806 A/B

November is National Homeless Awareness Month. OSSE’s Homeless Education Program (HEP) is expanding awareness and support for youth experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia by establishing an ally program. Allies are adults who identify themselves as individuals to whom students can go for help, without worrying about stigma or embarrassment. 
In the first year of the program, school-based homeless liaisons will be our city's first homeless allies. They will help launch the model and recruit other caring adults to serve in this important role. Once allies are trained and certified, OSSE will provide their schools with posters, stickers, and resource packets for distribution at their school or LEA. 
To qualify to serve as an ally, one must:

  • Be an LEA/school-based homeless liaison who is passionate about the success of children and youth experiencing homelessness (this should be the homeless liaison required by the McKinney-Vento Act);
  • Be willing to commit to serving for the 2017-18 school year (November 2017 – June 2018);
  • Be willing to display sticker/signs/posters to identify an Ally Safe Zone location where students experiencing homelessness can confide and seek out resources; and
  • Attend two trainings in order to be certified:
    • Training offered by OSSE’s Homeless Education Program:
      • Tuesday, Nov. 28, 10-11:30 a.m. (note new date) - In-person training at OSSE, room 806A/B (1.5 hours); or
      • Wednesday, Nov. 29, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (note new date) - Webinar version of training offered by OSSE (1.5 hours) [Register]; and
  • Online training by the National Council for Homeless Education (30 minutes- completed when convenient).

A recognized best strategy for ensuring compliance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (MKV) is for LEAs to create opportunities for liaisons to receive training focused on homelessness awareness, in order to collaborate with school personnel responsible for the provision of education to youth in homeless situations. Participation in this initiative will help LEAs to ensure compliance with MKV requirements. 
To become an Ally, submit a letter of commitment to OSSE’s Homeless Education Program agreeing to the above commitments, signed or forwarded by the LEA/school leader. While LEAs are welcome to draft this letter, OSSE will also be providing a template with homeless liaisons to help reduce administrative burden.

For more information or questions, please contact Tasheen Stallings at [email protected].