City, CPS announce $500 grants for students experiencing housing instability

A new program will provide eligible CPS students with funding to assist with educational, living, and other expenses. 

By Alyssa Phillips, Education Attorney 

This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Interim Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Dr. José M. Torres announced the creation of the Chicago Families Forward Fund. It will provide a $500 microgrant to CPS students experiencing housing insecurity to assist with needs that families and students are facing. 

This funding is critical and a step in the right direction as families and students experiencing homelessness have faced housing instability, job loss, loss of family members and serious health issues during the pandemic. All Chicago families and students need housing and other resources to succeed in school. The direct, flexible payments to CPS families and students experiencing homelessness will allow families and students to address a variety of unique and urgent needs. 

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Connecting with homeless students is critical as students return to school

By Patricia Nix-Hodes, Director of the Law Project

This week marks the start of the 2021-22 school year in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Many suburban school districts have already returned. This year, it will be more important than ever for schools to identify and support students experiencing homelessness.

The pandemic has resulted in a decrease of more than 34% in the number of CPS students identified as homeless since the 2018-19 school year. When students are not identified, they miss out on services that help them succeed in school.  

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As CPS identification of homeless students drops, CCH offers recommendations

By Alyssa Phillips, Education Attorney

The number of students identified as homeless in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) declined 34% since the 2018-19 school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and school districts nationwide faced unprecedented challenges. School districts, including CPS, implemented remote, hybrid, and in-person learning models as COVID-19 cases and deaths ravaged communities, hitting communities of color especially hard. In CPS, it was particularly challenging for schools to identify and serve students experiencing homelessness.  

Continue reading As CPS identification of homeless students drops, CCH offers recommendations