At the onset of many incidents of homelessness, the immediate places that are found for students to stay are outside the their school system’s transportation zones and are often impractical for student commutes using public transportation. As a result, students typically miss several days of school until their school district is able to arrange special bus routes (as required in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistant Act).
Interruption in students’ accessibilities to attend school and maintain after-school jobs and local social activities create setbacks that risk individual abilities to recover from hardship. Recovery risks rise similarly when students opt instead to stay in the streets or other unsafe places in order to preserve uninterupted access to schools, activities, and jobs.
In years past, these gaps in transportation during the onset of homeless incidents were often filled by teachers and other volunteer drivers. Today however, transportation on behalf of the schools must be carried out by approved contractors who can meet the hiring, training, management, insurance and vehicle inspection requirements of the school districts.
SafeNights’ approach to filling this immediate transportation gap will be to facilitate the deployment of local volunteer drivers by contracting with individual school districts and providing an umbrella of training, management, insurance, and other systems that meet school requirements.