Community Education Digest
September 2018
Welcome to our Community Education Digest! The aim of Ozone House's Community Education Digest newsletter is to connect our community's resources and services with the youth and families who need them most. Each month, the Community Education Digest highlights an Ozone House program along with related resources in our community. Many of these resources can also be found in the Ozone House Info Cards shown below. 

This month we highlight the Education Project.

The Education Project
Resources for Youth in our Community
Need Ozone House materials?


The Education Project is a joint program of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) and Ozone House. The Education Project is designed to ensure that students experiencing homelessness or unstable living situations enroll, regularly attend, and succeed  in school.

Under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act,
students who are homeless must have equal access to free and appropriate public education

The Education Project serves children & youth, ages 0-21, from the 9 school districts and thirteen public school academies (PSA) in the county.  Each district and PSA has a McKinney-Vento liaison and we work directly with them as well as allies within each school to provide support to students and families experiencing homelessness.
The Education Project works closely with community partners: Hospitals, clinics, shelters and other non-profits to make sure that students get the wraparound support they need.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Education Project

Who is Homeless?
Homelessness does not always look like a family living in a car or on the street; it exists in many different versions. The primary criteria we consider are: Is their housing Fixed? Is it Regular? And is it Adequate?

Fixed : Is it permanent or not subject to change? For example, is the person staying somewhere that they have a right to live? Are they not on the lease? Could they be asked to leave?
Regular : Are they staying the same place every night? Do they have to switch locations frequently?
Adequate : Is the residence sufficient? Do youth staying in the home have a bed to sleep in? Are there health risks and unsanitary conditions in the home? Does it meet the physical and psychological needs of a child?
Although we all hope that homelessness is very temporary, it can be a perpetual experience for many families and unaccompanied youth. It is important to ask these questions and understand each family and youth's situation.
How can I access the Education Project?
The education project is housed in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. The website is  Here you can find information about who is eligible for McKinney-Vento services, what services are offered and additional links and supports around youth homelessness and education.

The Education Project office is staffed regularly Monday - Thursday from 9am - 4pm.
How can I help?
  • Volunteer to pack backpacks and organize supplies
  • Host a supply or gift card drive for:
    • Back-to-School
    • Holiday
    • Graduation
    • Or any time!
  • Donate funds, gift cards or in-kind donations from our wish list, including: clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, bus tokens and more.
  • Advocate to your federal legislators to keep the McKinney-Vento Act funded
Visit the Ozone House website to learn more about how you can help.
Any questions regarding a young person's McKinney-Vento status and the supports available can be direct to, or by phone at (734) 994-8100 x1518.
This month we would like to take an opportunity to reintroduce you to the Education Project Staff and provide some role clarity.

The Education Project is a joint program of Ozone House and the WISD. Ozone House staffs the Education Project and manages most of the day-to-day operations, while the WISD maintains oversight of the program and ensures the county adheres to state and federal data reporting requirements. The primary folks you will interact with when connecting with the Education Project are Dawn Espy, the Education Program Manager and Jessica Stephenson, the Education Program Coordinator from Ozone House. While both Jessica and Dawn spend time out of the office engaging and educating community members, students, and school staff, the goal is for either or both to be available during open hours, Monday - Thursday, 9am - 4pm. As the program manager, Dawn reviews service requests, coordinates outreach and training opportunities, and provides clarification around McKinney-Vento services and eligibility. As the program coordinator, Jessica supports trainings, coordinates transportation requests, and overall, enhances the capacity of the Education Project. Dawn and Jessica are often supported by a team of interns in order to meet the needs of young people and families in our community. All staff and interns are trained in crisis intervention through Ozone House's crisis line training.

From the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Sarah Hierman is the Grants Manager for the WISD. As grants manager, Sarah oversees the Education Project and McKinney-Vento services and compliance for Washtenaw County. Sarah maintains regular communication with grant coordinators across the state as well as the Michigan Department of Education. Sarah also provides direct communications to local liaisons about state reporting and updates around training and the law. The entire team from Ozone House and the WISD works together to make sure that young people experiencing homelessness receive appropriate services. 

To connect to the Education Project call 734-994-8100 x 1518 or email
Resources for Youth in our Community
  Back-to-school  Resources 
  Tis the season for students going back-to school.  So this September we are providing a list of after-school opportunities and academic resources to get students off to an amazing start.  


8 26 Michigan  
  • Offers a completely free tutoring program for students between 8 and 18 years old. 
  • "Drop-in" means that students may arrive at any time while the program is running and receive homework help from one of our tutors. 
  • Like all 826michigan programs, it is free to participate. Students are not required to pre-register, but they do need to bring homework or school projects. 

EMU Bright Futures
  • Bright Futures is designed to address the needs expressed by the families and children served, community stakeholders, and school staffs. Currently the greatest needs are in the areas of math, reading, writing, health, and social growth.
  • Bright Futures programs meet after school for two and a half hours Monday through Thursday, 32 weeks during the school year and 6 weeks in the summer. 
  • Students participate daily in homework help, targeted academic assistance, mentoring, and service-learning and select from a rotating menu of clubs and activities. Clubs focusing on student interests in science, the arts, technology, engineering, culinary, physical fitness, personal development, and specific skills to support Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and a successful transition from elementary to middle, from middle to high school and to post secondary programs (college, university, career technical programs, etc).
  • For more information see the EMU Bright Futures website:

Peace Neighborhood Reach Program
  • The REACH After-School Program, for children in kindergarten through 5th grades, operates on Tuesday and Thursday between September and June. 
  • The children are engaged in creative activities which promote development of social skills and a healthy, positive attitude. With the help of more than 150 volunteer tutors, they receive additional assistance with their academics. 
  • The REACH After-School Program features a program plan that guides them in themed activities based on the character development model and rotates between them monthly. Past themes have included topics such as responsibility, communication, peace and justice, and integrity. 
  • Program dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays September - June Hours: 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm. Age Group: Kindergarten - 5th Grade
  • For more information see the Reach Program website:


Join the Washtenaw County Youth Commission Task Force

The Neutral Zone and Corner Health Center are looking for young people ages 13-19 to help research, develop and propose a youth commission for Washtenaw County.
  •  A youth commission is a body of governance that is responsible for advising on matters that relate to young people. 
  • Youth chosen to help develop a youth commission will meet at the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor over 8 sessions from September through May. 
  • Youth must be high school age and a resident of Washtenaw County to apply. 
  •  Youth will be awarded $200 ($25 for each session) for their participation and will be provided transportation to and from the Neutral Zone if needed. 
  •   If you are intrested, please fill out an application here by Monday September 17.  
Become a Peer Outreach Worker

Each year we have a Street Outreach Team of approximately 5-8 trained Peer Outreach Workers (POW's). This group is made of up youth, ages 15-19, that demonstrate leadership qualities. 
  •  POW'S provide homeless and high-risk youth with on-the-street support and information. POWs have an in-depth understanding of Ozone House services and why youth may need these services. 
POW'S  also get an opportunity to participate in the Leadership  Institute. Which is a  one week program, offered twice per year, based at the Drop-In Center. 
  • This program offers young people an opportunity to participate in workshops on topics like public speaking, personal finance and credit management, creative expression, team building, community resources, and education.
  • Offer enhanced leadership and community engagement opportunities for high-risk youth ages 13-18 in Washtenaw County Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Increase youth's safety
  • Enhance financial literacy and other life skills
  • Enable and empower youth to pursue employment opportunities
If you are interested in becoming a POW, please fill out the  peer outreach application  and send it to Scott Phillips at  or 734-485-2222.  You also must plan to attend the Peer Outreach Worker Institute staring September 24th. 


  • Have you been dreading "the talk"? Planned Parenthood will be hosting this workshop at The Corner for parents and caregivers of teens and pre-teens.
  • This free workshop goes "beyond the birds and the bees" to help parents gain valuable skills to talk to their teens about healthy sexuality. There will be free food, and all participants who preregister will receive a $25 Meijer gift card! (Parents who do not register will be entered into a raffle for a gift card at the event). Note: to pre-register, email 

The Education Project Updates
Education Projects Supports and Services 

The 2018-2019 School year has officially  begun! 
Below is the 2018 - 2019 referral! Please use this referral when working with students and families this school year.  The referral is intended to be filled out by school staff or community partners with the students or families in need of support. 

Once a referral is completed, the information should be shared with the Education Project staff as well as the Local Liaison. Any questions about the referral or referral process can be directed to or call us at 734-994-8100 x1518.  
Click here to obtain a copy:

If you have new staff or want to provide current staff with a refresher around the McKinney-Vento Law and how to support students in your school, please let us know and we will come to begin of the year trainings for teachers, administrators, school counselors, social workers or anyone in the community. 

Over 1,000 backpacks have been filled  with school supplies and  toiletries during our annual  back-to school drive.   If you are working with a student that needs these items please send us a referral to make sure they receive one. 

If you know a youth or family who could benefit from Ozone House services,
please have them call,text,or chat our 24-hour Crisis Line:


There is always somebody here to listen. 
Need More Information About Ozone House?
Ozone House Poster

We will come to you!  
We provide educational presentations to middle and high school classrooms or assemblies, as well as organizations throughout Washtenaw County.
To order free printed education materials, or to schedule a presentation, 
contact Dawn Espy at 
call (734) 994-8100 x1518

Ozone House INFO Card

Ozone House Outreach Card
Ozone House Outreach Card

To learn more about all of our crisis intervention, housing or support services,  or to get involved with Ozone House,  please visit our website at