"Rural areas have to get very creative in addressing these issues and working with the few resources we have in the community," said an Ohio school administrator who responded to ICPH's March 2019 survey.
ICPH learned from those working with rural homeless students about what student homelessness looks like in their communities and the ways that schools are improving the identification of this population. "In order to improve, we are looking at implementing centralized registration in order to better identify incoming transient families," explained one survey participant. Another survey respondent told ICPH, "we've added a Residency Questionnaire as part of the enrollment pack for every student at beginning of the year." The same respondent added that they, "trained bus drivers and gave them referral forms" for students who were potentially experiencing homelessness.
Respondents added that some of the biggest challenges in addressing rural student homelessness include the distance between shelters, lack of transportation, social/emotional issues caused by homelessness and other trauma, and a need for more resources to support these families, including food for hungry students.
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