Families Experiencing Homelessness

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Head Start and Early Head Start local agencies have helped homeless families for many years.  With their comprehensive service model, our programs are uniquely designed to serve these families.

The latest Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) released in November 2016 include a provision [§1302.15(c)] that allows Head Start and Early Head Start programs to reserve one or more enrollment slots (up to 3% of the funded enrollment) for pregnant women and children experiencing homelessness in their service areas for a period of 30 days when a vacancy occurs. This provision complements the aforementioned regulations of the Head Start Act and can serve as part of a program’s broader strategy for serving children and families experiencing homelessness.

Furthermore, local program leaders report challenges in reaching and impacting this community in a meaningful manner.  Here in Region 9, and across the nation, services to homeless families are complex and require innovation, new partnerships, and resources.


In June 2019, programs from across the region gathered to discuss this issue and explore challenges and solutions. “A Conversation: Services to Families Experiencing Homelessness” is our report from this gathering: Click to view full report.


R9HSA produced the following commentary appearing in the Sacramento Bee that details a family’s rise out of homelessness, thanks to local programs like Head Start and SETA. Click here to read article.

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Questions? Contact us at headstartr9@region9hsa.org.