The Bessemer City Schools Title I Homeless Education Program is a District wide school-based program that promotes school stability and academic success of displaced children and youth.
WHO ARE WE?
Dr. Keith Stewart, Superintendent of Bessemer City Schools
Brenda Rumley, Director of Federal Programs for Bessemer City Schools
Meoshia Mayes, Program Assistant for the Homeless Education & Parent Involvement Program
WHERE ARE WE LOCATED?
Board of Education Annex, Homeless Education Program
412 17th Street, North, Bessemer, Alabama 35020
Phone: 205-432-3050 Fax: 205-432-3072
HOURS: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 PM
WHAT IS HOMELESSNESS?
A family living in temporary shelter, hotel or motel, campground, vehicle or living in substandard housing or doubled up with friends or relatives because they don’t have a place of their own due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.
An unaccompanied youth who is a runaway, in temporary foster care, or is not in physical custody of a parent or guardian, and does not have a permanent nighttime residence.
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law, passed in 1987, to help people experiencing homelessness. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, it is the obligation of all districts to identify all homeless students. McKinney-Vento is designed to address barriers that homeless children and youth face such as enrollment issues, attendance, and the overall success of the student within the school. Many homeless children and youth within the city of Bessemer are identified by the designated homeless liaison located at each of our eight schools. Most of our homeless in the city of Bessemer have been identified as doubled up; they are temporarily living with friends or family. This is typically due to fire, domestic violence, low income, increased family size or loss of job. The Bessemer City Board of Education, the Department of Federal Programs and the Homeless Education Coordinator will ensure that homeless students within our community have access to a high quality education and other services necessary for these students to meet the same challenging performance standards as other students.
SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Assistance with enrollment and translator if needed
Transportation to school of origin within the district when possible
Assistance with school supplies, school uniforms and hygiene products
Assistance with community resources
Parent Training and Mentoring Programs
Professional Development to school personnel
Funding for Field Trips, Graduation Fees, and Related Activities
In 2013-2014, the program identified and served 263 homeless students in Bessemer City Schools. The overall numbers increased to 333 in 2014-2015. As of May 20, 2016, we have served 354 homeless children and youth for the 2015-2016 school year. The individual numbers are listed by grade levels below.
Grade levels of students identified in Bessemer City Schools as homeless for 2015-2016:
Grade 1 34
Grade 2 34
Grade 3 39
Grade 4 24
Grade 5 26
Grade 6 31
Grade 7 25
Grade 8 24
Grade 9 43
Grade 10 17
Grade 11 12
Grade 12 08
HOW CAN YOU HELP US TO HELP OUR DISPLACED STUDENTS AND FAMILIES?
While students experience instability in their home lives due to homelessness, school is often a place of safety and security. All students should feel safe and have a sense of belonging in a consistent and caring environment Please call the numbers above or email our program at firstname.lastname@example.org with any student you suspect may be living in a homeless situation. It is vitally important to identify and serve as many homeless students as we can locate. Thank you for your help.