The Context
Roughly 8% of New York City school students live in temporary housing, and face unique challenges in overcoming barriers to attending school regularly. The Office of Community Schools works with over 17,000 students in temporary housing throughout 227 schools.


Community Schools




STH (14.5% of students)


STH in 22 pilot schools

Students in Temporary Housing (STH): Definitions

STH students include those living in non-permanent housing situations, such as:

  • Homeless shelters

  • Domestic violence shelters

  • Awaiting foster care placement/ group homes

  • ‘Doubled up’ living with another family

The Program

Our program consists of four key elements of support for our STH population:

Innovative Data Support

New Visions student sorters and attendance heat maps now include STH information to help you target resources for your students. Your weekly attendance meeting is another great way to stay up to date on your school's data.
Refer to this how-to guide containing information on where to find your school’s STH data. 

Success Mentoring

Success Mentoring is an evidence-based program that provides individual support to students. NYC students with histories of chronic absenteeism gained nearly two additional weeks of school (9 days) with a Success Mentor.
Any caring adult can be a Success Mentor, including social work students recruited through local University partnerships.  Refer to our Success Mentor Guide for supporting STH. For more information, visit our Success Mentoring page.

Targeted Resources & Partnerships

The Office of Community Schools works with numerous city agencies and private partners to bring specialized supports to Community Schools.

Capacity Building

Community Schools holds many conferences, trainings,  and events throughout the year to share ideas, resources, and best practices. For more  information on our next event, please refer to the latest newsletter.

Connecting with Shelters

There are DOE Family Assistants who work at every shelter across the city. You can directly contact the Family Assistants that work in shelters where your students reside. You can view the full list of DOE Family Assistant shelter contacts here.

Additionally, each borough has a DOE STH Liaison from the Office of Safety and Youth Development (OSYD) who provide further assistance to connect you to borough wide resources and to understand the rights of the STH population. Full list of your STH Liaisons are found here.

Below is a map of all NYC Community Schools and DHS shelters:

Transportation Resources

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, students living in temporary housing have rights to various transportation services. Below are the NYC Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) resources on how to best utilize these services.


Homebase provides support to families who are at risk of homelessness, to prevent temporary housing situations. Eligibility of Homebase services include those who:

  • Are at imminent risk of entering the New York City shelter system
  • Are low-income
  • Want to remain stably housed in your community

Find a full list of Homebase locations here and map of Homebase providers here and below.

Recent Press Articles

NY Times: New policy at DHS PATH center, now that has made it easier for students to remain in school during their intake. All family members only need to be present for the first appointment, and children do not need to be present for all of the follow up meetings. More information about the change in this here.
Politico: City convenes principals to discuss plight of record number of homeless students. "The Department of Education last week held its first-ever meeting of principals who oversee schools with high homeless populations, part of an ongoing effort to provide support services for a record number of school children in temporary housing. Top education officials, including deputy chancellor Elizabeth Rose, community schools director Chris Caruso and Office of Safety and Youth Development CEO Lois Herrera met with 50 principals and social workers from 33 schools that educate large numbers of homeless students."
"One in 10: That’s how many New York City students experienced homelessness in the past school year, according to statistics released Monday on a burgeoning student population that often experiences devastating academic performance."

NY Times: 10% of New York City Students were Homeless Last Year, read the NY Times article on new state data from the 2016-2017 school year.

Research and Public Policy
Institute on Children, Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH) has created “The Atlas on Student Homelessness in New York City”. It is a valuable resource for understanding breakdown on student homelessness in school districts across the city. Use the interactive web atlas here.

Not Reaching the Door: Homeless Students Face Many Hurdles on the Way to School New York City’s Independent Budget Office report, with findings that over 82,000 + students who are homeless city wide, and its implications for students who are in temporary housing. You can read more information about this change in the NY Times article.

Training Materials


To learn more about strategies to support students in temporary housing, please review our Supporting Students In Temporary Housing Webinar.

STH Slide Deck

For more information on our Students in Temporary Housing Program, please refer to our STH slide deck.

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP): 
Valuable opportunity for your students who are aged 14 years and older!

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has 3,100 slots available for GUARANTEED summer job placement within the Vulnerable Youth Summer Youth Employment Program (VY SYEP). This is for all students who are:
  • Homeless, in the NYC shelter system, or in other temporary housing
  • Justiceinvolved youth
  • Youth in foster care or receiving preventive services through ACS

Review the Vulnerable Youth Handbook, SYEP Application Package, and VY Provider Contact Sheet if you are interested.

For further questions about this opportunity, contact Jennifer MitchellMayer at jmitchellmayer

BSW/MSW Field Placement Internship Program: 
Community Schools has a robust MSW/BSW program where social work interns serve as Success Mentors. If you are interested in hosting a Success Mentor at your school, contact Jennifer MitchellMayer at jmitchellmayer