To gather good data on families who are experiencing homelessness we’ve been able to share information from our state homeless shelter system. That’s been one of the ways we’ve been able to at least identify families who are in a sheltered situation. We can share community level data through our state level data banks and do that on a regular basis and then often times the local programs will keep data on families who are turned away from shelter and so there are extrapolations that the coalition to end homelessness uses and they can use those extrapolations in their own data.
Recruiting activities are really pretty wide open. Programs have been incredibly creative in the kinds of recruiting practices that they’ve used. Some of our grantees have established weekly opportunities to go out to shelters and they just go out and they meet with families who are there and give them information about Head Start, but also, other community programs so that they’re really providing support as well as bringing information about Head Start. Some of our programs have begun to create referral forms and keep forms on hand at shelter programs and other programs that are serving families experiencing homelessness so that information is really on hand and accurate. And then have ongoing contact with those connections so that they know when there are vacancies in programs and may even be able to begin to collect some enrollment data so that when there is a vacancy, that families can be enrolled on a fairly immediate basis.
I’ve been able to put out small grants for outreach and enrollment to individual grantees and that’s been very helpful because programs have had kind of a reason to focus specifically on homelessness. And they’ve come up with incredibly creative ways of using a very small amount of money to do an awful lot of creative things in their own community – not only to train their own staff and to really bring their own staff further along in understanding what some of the needs are, but also bringing some materials and information to staff who serve homeless families around the needs of young children which is really, really necessary.
Grace’s Ideas: Explore Information
Before you make your recommendation, do the following:
Think about Grace’s ideas and how they might relate to your situation.
Review the information in the links below.
If possible, discuss Grace’s ideas with a colleague.
Use the ideas in this lesson to help you prepare your plan for identification and outreach. The Outreach Plan worksheet [RTF, 203KB] is a tool to help you gather your own ideas, as well as ideas from each video and from the Explore Information tab.
Step 1: Collect all your ideas in one place. To start, select one action from the table below.