Over 3,500 children in Allegheny County were identified as homeless last year. There are 43 school districts in Allegheny County, and each district has homeless children.
The mission of the HCEF is to advance the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness, guiding them to be productive, empowered citizens. As a national model for addressing the educational needs of unstably housed children and youth, HCEF leads a collaborative effort among regional partners by providing educational programs and services in Allegheny County and advocating for policy and system improvement.
HCEF works with 27 homeless agencies in Allegheny County to create hope through learning for homeless children and youth.
Our program offerings include:
-Homeless shelter learning centers built just for kids and equipped with technology and resources for educational support
-Building Blocks for Success afterschool and summer programming taught to children living in homeless agencies
-Mini-grant and field trip dollars distributed to shelters for community excursions and educational projects benefiting homeless youth
-Enrichment programs that bring creative, hands-on experiences to enhance learning
-Hope Through Learning Award scholarship program that awards funding for students who have experienced homelessness and are heading on to post-secondary education
-Our Roadmap Teen Program that works to address the unique challenges experienced by homeless teens and provides career and college readiness preparation to these teens during school hours
-An annual backpack distribution that gives backpacks filled with school supplies to children and youth experiencing homelessness
Last year, over 650 children and teens participated in our enrichment programming in subjects that included science, visual arts, music, and storytelling. Over $20,000 in mini grants were awarded to shelters for experiential learning activities. Additionally, over 2,000 backpacks were distributed as part of our annual backpack distribution program, and $12,500 in higher education scholarships was given to five students through the Hope Through Learning Award program.
With support from people just like you, HCEF continues to advance the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in Pittsburgh, breaking the cycle of poverty and opening the door to opportunity.
Give today and help create hope through learning for a child in Pittsburgh.