Supporting Unhoused Students: A Blueprint for MA Schools

July 2023

Within Massachusetts alone, 23,000 students are experiencing homelessness. And, with the expiration of COVID-era protections like an eviction moratorium and rental assistance, many experts predict that number will increase. 

Child and family homelessness is associated with a host of negative outcomes including poor physical and mental health, lower academic performance, higher rates of absenteeism and grade retention, and hindered social and emotional development.

Research shows that school-based efforts to support students experiencing homelessness make a difference. But schools cannot be expected to do this work alone. District administrators and educators can carry out this work more effectively by working closely with community-based organizations with expertise in issues of homelessness and housing stability.

This blueprint, intended to guide schools and districts in developing school-community partnerships to support homeless youth and their families, combines research-based best practices with lessons learned from homelessness programs nationwide. It details the process schools can undertake to design and implement a program, providing tools and templates to support this process along the way.