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Student Services » Homeless Youth Information

Homeless Youth Information

WCSD recognizes that foster and homeless youth are our most vulnerable students, and as such they may require additional interventions and supports to ensure success.

Our Mission is to advocate for the educational rights of homeless and foster youth in order to promote school stability and build a comprehensive program of services and support for our homeless students and their families.

The fundamental goal of the Whittier City School District is to continually examine and improve our practices to ensure that all students:

  • have the best opportunities to achieve high academic standards

  • are on the pathway for college and career readiness.

  • are provided with social and health services to promote healthier lifestyles for our families

To assist our families and our at-risk youth, we have established a successful before and after school program titled, “Reach for the Stars” to meet the needs of our at-risk population. The Jumpstart summer program implements an integrated approach to learning.  This approach helps to prevent summer learning loss in our at risk youth. Every year our program serves approximately 1,500 students grades K-8. Reach for the Stars (RFTS) is funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant and the After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program Grant.

Who Qualifies for Services?

If your family:

  • Sharing the housing with others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason ("doubling up")

  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to the lack of adequate alternative accommodations

  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters

  • Abandoned in Hospitals

  • Have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings

  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings

*Unaccompanied youth living in the circumstances described above and/or

Migratory children and youth living in the circumstances described above may be eligibility for McKinney-Vento Services. 

*Unaccompanied Youth-Any student not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian AND who meets the definition of homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act:

-No age limit

-No citizenship requirement (Plyer v. Doe)

-Eligible regardless of whether he/she was asked to leave or chose to leave home

Population Served

  • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason

  • Children and youths who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters

  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings

  • Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above

Eligible Children have the Right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is their preference and is feasible.
McKinney-Vento Liaisons:
Gladys Huerta/Christine Becerra-Watts
(562) 789-3017
glhuerta@whittiercity.net