Homeless Education Resource Network

A History of HERN

1987 Congress established the McKinney Act’s Education of Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. The act provided funding to support the education of students who are homeless. This was done in light of reports that only 57% of homeless children were enrolled in school.

1991 Mary William created the Homeless Student Initiative in response to the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act. It was believed there were 100 students who were homeless within the school district.

1996 Major support of HSI was received from Title I. The program began to provide tutoring and after school support to students. In addition, program brochures were created to increase awareness.

1997 HUD McKinney-Vento funding was secured. This now permitted the addition of service coordinator staff to deliver services to students.

2000 President Clinton renamed the legislation the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act after the death of Representative Bruce Vento. He was a strong supporter of the act since it was passed originally in 1987.

2000 HERN staff joined the City of Boston Emergency Shelter Commission to conduct an annual homeless census. HERN staff now does this every year.

2001 Though HUD McKinney funds ended, Title I increased funding to support the program. HERN Nights, Parent Empowerment, and Gear-Up for School were created.

2001 HSI started a summer program for students who are homeless.

2006 The HERN Community Coordinating Council was created to assess programs that would help students’ who are homeless succeed in school.

2007 The HSI summer program changed its name to the Circle of Fun and Enrichment.

2007 HSI began giving Coats and Gifts for the Holidays

2008 HERN created a Brown Bag Lunch Series for homeless service providers. Its purpose was to bring service providers together to share information, best practices, and resources.

2009 The Boston Public Schools started a school-based HERN Liaison program.

2009 HERN joined community partners at the “Educating Homeless School-Age Children: A Community and Clinical Response” Conference. Brookview House, Inc. organized this conference. The purpose of it was to come up with ways to help homeless children do well in school.

2010 After about 20 years, the Homeless Student Initiative was renamed as the Homeless Education Resource Network. This was done to reflect the growth of services offered.

2011 A Spring symposium takes the place of empowerment luncheons that happened twice a year.

2011 HERN came out with its first website. The goal was to make information about services more available to the community.

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Homeless Resource Education NetworkBruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington Street, Roxbury 02119 Phone: (617) 635-8037Fax: (617) 635-1546
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