Homeless Outreach

Homeless Outreach

Homeless children face many educational barriers due to the disruption and trauma of not having a fixed, regular, and adequate place to live. Most of these children face educational disruption due to changing schools as they move from one temporary location to another. Homeless children and youths also have higher incidences of illness, depression, and exposure to violence compared to their stably housed peers. Specific educational challenges faced by homeless students include:

  • Not being identified for services
  • Difficulty enrolling without records or, in the case of an unaccompanied homeless youth, without a parent or guardian present
  • Difficulty regularly attending school
  • Lack of stable transportation
  • Frequent school changes
  • Falling behind in school
  • Not accruing credits on time
  • Lack of basic needs including food, clothing, and adequate housing
  • Stress, depression, trauma
  • Embarrassment and stigma related to their housing conditions

Many homeless youths are also unaccompanied, meaning they are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. Being both homeless and unaccompanied leaves youths fending for themselves in a world where they are vulnerable to a myriad of potentially life-threatening dangers.

For all these reasons, school can often be the one place of stability, safety, and support in the tumultuous lives of these students.
(source: https://nche.ed.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Local-Liaison-Toolkit-2020.pdf)


ISBE Homeless Guidance: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/Homeless-Guidance.pdf

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act: https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento/

Homeless Services

Location Name Phone Number Email Address
District Homeless Liaison Anitra Nance 217-351-3963 nancean@u4sd.org
District Homeless Services Coordinator Katina Wilcher 217-351-3701 wilcheka@u4sd.org
Barkstall Lexia Swope-Hassan 217-373-5580 swopele@u4sd.org
Bottenfield Jennie Damler 217-351-3807 damlerje@u4sd.org
Carrie Busey Niki Huckstadt 217-351-3811 Huckstni@u4sd.org
Cenntennial Amy Mitchell-Esteves 217-351-3963 Mitcheam@u4sd.org
Central Gail Groff 217-351-3922 groffga@u4sd.org
Dr. Howard Jeffrey Boyd 217-351-3866 Boydje@u4sd.org
Early Childhood Center Brandy Dietsch 217-351-3753 dietscbr@u4sd.org
Edison Edson Castrejon Gonzalez 217-351-3771 Castreed@u4sd.org
Franklin Katrina Flynn 217-351-3819 Flynnka@u4sd.org
Garden Hills Jacquelyn Douglas 217-351-3872 Douglaja@u4sd.org
Jefferson Joanne Dusenbury 217-351-3786 Dusenbjo@u4sd.org
Kenwood Ellen Schultz 217-351-3815 schultel@u4sd.org
Novak Academy Michel Maroon 217-352-4328 Maroonmi@u4sd.org
Robeson Jennifer Hickey 217-351-3884 Hickeyje@u4sd.org
South Side Anna McCarthy 217-351-3890 Mccartan@u4sd.org
Stratton Alexis Gatses 217-373-7330 Gatsesal@u4sd.org
Washington (BTW) Jenna Mahoney 217-351-3901 Mahoneje@u4sd.org
Westview Lisa Mosley 217-351-3905 mosleyli@u4sd.org
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