Who We Are
Education Leads Home is a national campaign focused on improving educational outcomes for children and youth who experience homelessness. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of key challenges and increase implementation of proven practices and policies that improve educational outcomes, from early childhood through postsecondary, for one of the country’s most vulnerable student populations.
Over 1.3 million students in America’s public schools do not have a stable place to call home, or a consistent place to sleep every night. Another 1.2 million children under age six–infants, toddlers, and preschoolers–experience homelessness each year. An estimated 12% of community college students and 9% of university students experienced homelessness over the last year. These children and youth may sleep in a shelter or in a motel room, on a couch, in a car, a park, or an abandoned building. They move from place to place, without access to a healthy breakfast, a shower, or a place to wash their clothes.
Ultimately, early care and education is the most critical long-term strategy to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Research is clear that success in school starts early in life, and that quality early care is imperative for health, development, and later learning. And without an education, young people cannot access employment that pays a sustainable living wage. In fact, 95% of the over 11 million jobs created in the United States since 2010 went to workers with at least some college education. Recent research also found that young adults without a high school diploma or GED are 4.5 times more likely to experience homelessness than their peers. Unfortunately, students experiencing homelessness are 87% more likely than housed students to drop out of school, and are less likely to graduate even compared to other low-income students.
Homelessness should not prevent a student from accessing and completing their education.
Goals of the Campaign
By 2026, young children experiencing homelessness will participate in quality early childhood programs at the same rate as their housed peers.
A 90% high school graduation rate for homeless students by 2030.
A 60% postsecondary attainment rate for homeless students by 2034.
Education Leads Home is spearheaded by four national organizations. Each organization brings to the campaign a wealth of issue area expertise and a passion for improving opportunities and outcomes for young people.
SchoolHouse Connection works to overcome homelessness through education. We provide strategic advocacy and technical assistance in partnership with schools, early childhood programs, institutions of higher education, service providers, families, and youth. Our vision is that children and youth experiencing homelessness have full access to quality learning, birth through higher education, so they will never be homeless as adults, and the next generation will never be homeless.
CIVIC is a social enterprise firm that works with corporations, nonprofits, foundations, universities and governments to develop innovative campaigns and public policies in the fields of education, national service, civic engagement, conservation, public health and more. We work with organizations that seek to challenge the status quo and grow their impact for the greater good. Working closely with clients to determine what they need to better engage with their stakeholders and serve their constituents, we specialize in research and policy development, strategy and coalition building, state and federal policy analysis, and strategic communications.
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. We bring together more than 400 national organizations and thousands of community leaders to focus the nation’s attention on young people’s lives and voices, lead bold campaigns to expand opportunity, conduct groundbreaking research on what young people need to thrive, and accelerate the adoption of strategies that help young people succeed. GradNation, our signature campaign, has helped to increase the nation’s high school graduation rate to a record high.
EducationCounsel is a mission-based education consulting firm that combines significant experience in policy, strategy, law and advocacy to drive improvements in the U.S. education system. We develop and advance evidence-based ideas at the local, state, and national levels to strengthen educational systems and promote expanded opportunities and improved outcomes for all students in order to close achievement gaps and significantly improve education outcomes for all children from early childhood through postsecondary education.