The ROE 51 Homeless Program strives to ensure homeless children and youth have equal access to the same public and preschool programs as housed students. Hundreds of children and youth in Sangamon County don't have a home of their own. Their parent, guardian or caregiver can't afford to have their own place. Some homeless students are teens on their own. These unaccompanied youth often "couch surf" living apart from their parents or guardians in unstable or inadequate living situations.
In Sangamon County, most of these students live doubled-up with family or friends, moving from place to place. Other families with housing crisis are living in motels, campgrounds, automobiles or other unsuitable arrangements. Consistent attendance at school can be extremely challenging unless the family and school are in constant communication about the transitional living situation. Parents and someone on school staff that the family feels comfortable with must talk regularly.