American Rescue Plan Homeless Funds

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides substantial federal resources to support states and local school districts. In recognition of the extraordinary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students experiencing homelessness, the ARP includes additional funds to support the specific needs of homeless children and youth (ARP Homeless). ARP Homeless funds are in addition to the larger pool of ARP funding and must be used to meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness. There are three ARP Homeless subgrants: ARP Homeless I, ARP Homeless II, and ARP Homeless Targeted Support Grant. This webpage provides more information on ARP Homeless funds, how grantees can use funds to meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness and help them overcome obstacles to learning, and how projects may be sustained after the spend down date

ARP Homeless I Competitive SUBGRANT

The ARP Homeless I subgrant provides resources to districts and regions that have high counts of students experiencing homelessness which the Covid-19 pandemic greatly impacted. In 2021, the Department hosted a competition for districts and Educational Service Centers (ESCs) to apply for ARP Homeless I funds. Only 39 districts and ESCs were eligible for this competition. Thirty (30) districts and ESCs received awards of $183,575.14 to support the immediate and unique needs of students experiencing homelessness.


ARP Homeless II award amounts were determined by a federal formula, based on Title I allocation and homeless student count:

  • Fifty percent in proportion to the amount of funding the school or district received under Title I, Part A for the most recent fiscal year; and
  • Fifty percent in proportion to the number of children and youth experiencing homelessness identified by the school or district relative to the other schools and districts in the state as reported in the 2018-19 or 2019-20 school years (whichever is greater).

Schools and districts allocated less than $5,000 by the formula were not eligible for the subgrant on their own. To receive an ARP Homeless II subgrant funding support, the school or district joined a consortium of schools and districts in which the sum of its members' allocations met the $5,000 threshold.

407 schools and districts accepted the funds and an additional 262 received funding through consortia membership.    

ARP Homeless Targeted Support SubGrant

The Department reserved 25% of the ARP Homeless allocation ($7,327,165) for state activities which funds, in part, the ARP Homeless Targeted Support Grant. The competitive, one-time grant supports the needs of students experiencing homelessness in Head Start programs, Joint Vocational School Districts (JVSDs), and community schools and traditional public districts with ten (10) or fewer identified students experiencing homelessness. The office awarded 286 applicants with $16,500 each on Jan. 31, 2023.

Braiding Funds and Sustainability

ARP Homeless funds mitigate the burden the pandemic put on families experiencing homelessness. Grantees can use funds to target the immediate needs of families. Grantees can braid ARP Homeless funds with each other and other funding streams including:

By creating systems of support beyond one-time-use items and braiding funding streams, grantees can ensure that the impact of ARP Homeless funds remain after the spend down date.

Important Grant Dates

Below are important dates separated by grant:

Date Type

 ARP Homeless I

ARP Homeless II

ARP Homeless Targeted Support Grant

Substantially Approved Date

March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020

Jan. 31, 2023

Obligation Deadline

Sept. 30, 2024

Sept. 30, 2024

June 30, 2024

Budget Deadline Nov. 15, 2023 Nov. 15, 2023 Nov. 15, 2023
Revision Deadline June 15, 2024 June 15, 2024 June 15, 2024
PCR Deadline Submit monthly,
Final submission:   Dec. 16, 2024
Submit monthly,
Final submission:   Dec. 16, 2024
Submit monthly,
Final submission: Sept. 16, 2024
Liquidation Deadline Dec. 30, 2024 Dec. 30, 2024 Sept. 30, 2024

Allowable Uses and Examples

Since ARP Homeless grants are federal funds, grantees are responsible for adhering to federal spending requirements. For assistance in determining how to use funds, utilize the National Center for Homeless Education's Use of Funds Tip Sheet


Allowable Use as defined in ARP Homeless and Clarifications


Tutoring and supplemental instruction The provision of tutoring, supplemental instruction, and enriched educational services that are linked to the achievement of the same challenging state academic standards as the State establishes for other children and youth
  • After-school or before-school tutoring. To reduce stigma for students experiencing homelessness, these tutoring programs can include other students.
  • Stipend for staff to host homework help nights at shelters
Professional development Professional development and other activities for educators and specialized instructional support personnel that are designed to heighten the understanding and sensitivity of such personnel to the needs of homeless children and youths, the rights of such children and youth under this part, and the specific educational needs of runaway and homeless youths.

Staff can receive stipends for attending professional development opportunities that are in addition to their work hours. Stipends to support attendance at a work event, during work hours, may not be allowable. 
  • Support for conference and professional development fees
  • Stipends for staff to participate in trainings outside of work hours
  • Payment for poverty simulations
Consider including:
-Bus drivers
-Front office staff
-School and district leaders
-Guidance counselors
-Nutrition personnel
-Enrollment personnel
-Attendance officers
-EMIS administrator
-Student support specialists
Referrals for medical care including dental and mental health The provision of referral services to homeless children and youths for medical, dental, mental, and other health services.

Medical expenses are limited to extraordinary needs. Other community resources will need to be used for medical issues. Programs and Services to Help Cover Medical Expenses webpage has links to the eligibility criteria and consumer hotlines for both Healthy Start and the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Coordination with community partners to sponsor mobile health clinic visits
  • Some extraordinary medical expenses related to school success
Transportation to and from school and school activities The provision of assistance to defray the excess cost of transportation for students under section 722(g)(4)(A) of the McKinney-Vento Act, not otherwise provided through Federal, State, or local funding, where necessary to enable students to attend the school selected under section 732(g)(3) of the McKinney-Vento Act.

The cost of transportation for students temporarily residing outside district lines must be shared with the attendance area district.
  • Contracts with private companies
  • Purchase of (or combining funds to purchase) a van
  • Bus passes for students
  • Mileage reimbursement based on one round trip a day (more if extracurricular needs) and days in attendance. Grantees need to ensure a solid system when using this method of transportation support
  • Bus driver salary and benefits for additional time and mileage to transport students experiencing homelessness
  • Bicycles and helmets for students experiencing homelessness residing in a walk-zone
  • For more information about transportation, reference Transportation Supports for Students Experiencing Homelessness.
Early childhood education (especially for parenting students experiencing homelessness) The provision of developmentally appropriate early childhood education programs, not otherwise provided through Federal, State, or local funding, for preschool-aged children experiencing homelessness.

Consider providing early childhood education to young children age birth to five who are not formally enrolled in the LEA but who are experiencing homelessness in the LEA.
  • Childcare for parenting youth experiencing homelessness following Ohio Department of Job and Family Services guidelines (pregnant parenting youth experiencing homelessness may need additional supports to complete schooling)
  • Childcare while parents are at events to discuss McKinney-Vento rights
  • Referrals for siblings of students experiencing homelessness to Head Start programs
  • Childcare expenses for young children experiencing homelessness within attendance area of LEA but not currently enrolled
Services and supports to attract and engage families experiencing homelessness (especially those with students not enrolled in school) The provision of services and assistance to attract, engage, and retain children and youth experiencing homelessness, particularly those who are not enrolled in school or in public school programs, and services provided to non-homeless children and youth.
  • Printing posters to distribute within the community
  • Events for the community with community partners to distribute information about McKinney-Vento rights
  • Coordination with homeless shelters and food banks to refer families to the district to bolster identification
Summer learning opportunities, preparation for the school year, and mentorship programs The provision for homeless children and youth of before- and after-school, mentoring, and summer programs in which a teacher or other qualified individual provides tutoring, homework assistance, and supervision of educational activities
  • Summer programs to help students experiencing homelessness receive additional academic support
  • Stipends for staff to mentor and check in on students throughout the summer
  • Stipends for staff to go to food banks and shelters to host reading and learning events throughout the summer
Obtaining records If necessary, the payment of fees and other costs associated with tracking, obtaining, and transferring records necessary to enroll homeless children and youth in school, including birth certificates, immunization or other required health records, academic records, guardianship records, and evaluations for special programs or services.

Review and revise policies to remove barriers to the education of homeless children and youth, “including barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees or fines, or absences” [42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(1)(I)]. Fees for extracurricular activities should be waived or paid with donations or district funds. Please review this language prior to using funds to pay fees. For more information about waiving fees, access Homeless Education Liaison Roles and Responsibilities
  • Payment for birth certificates and other records for families that were evicted and had to leave their possessions
  • Payment for records for families displaced through a natural disaster or a house fire
Training and resources about McKinney-Vento rights for families of students experiencing homelessness The provision of education and training to the parents and guardians of homeless children and youth about the rights of, and resources available to, such children and youth, and other activities designed to increase the meaningful involvement of parents and guardians of homeless children or youth in the education of such children or youth.
  • Stipends for staff to implement early literacy programs to train families experiencing homelessness how to educate and develop their young children
  • Events to provide families information about community resources available and their rights under the McKinney-Vento Act
  • Transportation for families to attend these events
  • Transportation for families to attend parent-teacher conferences
Coordination with community-based organizations to provide services and supports The development of coordination between schools and agencies providing services to homeless children and youth, as described in section 722(g)(5) of the McKinney-Vento Act.

ARP Homeless funds may not be sub-granted to community partners but may be used to contract their services.
  • Contracts with community organizations to mentor students experiencing homelessness
  • Contracts with community partners to refer students experiencing homelessness to enroll in school
  • Contracts with community partners to distribute book bags and information about the McKinney-Vento Act to students experiencing homelessness
Specialized instructional services including violence prevention and counseling The provision of specialized instructional support services (including violence prevention counseling) and referrals for such services.
Supports and services for students living with domestic violence and parental mental health and substance abuse Activities to address the particular needs of homeless children and youth that may arise from domestic violence and parental mental health or substance abuse problems
  • Stipends for staff to provide tutoring and homework assistance at family shelters
  • Stipends for a family-community-liaison to establish relationships with families and check in on them
Adaption of a space in school buildings or in shelters The adaptation of space and purchase of supplies for any non-school facilities made available under section 723(a)(2) of the McKinney-Vento Act to provide services under section 723(d) of the McKinney-Vento Act.
  • Shelving and storage bins for a Care Closet stocked with clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, and shoes (which are also allowable uses of ARP Homeless funds). To reduce the stigma for students experiencing homelessness, housed students in need can also access the Care Closet.
  • Washers and dryers in a room for students to access between classes
  • Refrigerator within the Care Closet stocked with food provided from community partners
  • Adaptation of a room at a shelter to allow for students to have a quiet space to study, read, and play
School supplies distributed at shelters and to students directly The provision of school supplies, including those supplies to be distributed at shelters or temporary housing facilities or other appropriate locations.
  • School supplies including colored pencils, books, pens, pencils, backpacks, protractors, and more to allow for students to meaningfully engage in their classes
Emergency assistance not expressly stated in other allowable uses The provision of other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.
Wraparound services Providing wraparound services (which could be provided in collaboration with and/or through contracts with community-based organizations, and could include academic supports, trauma-informed care, social-emotional support, and mental health services)

ARP Homeless funds may not be sub-granted to community partners but may be used to contract their services.
  • Payment for an in-building counselor for students experiencing homelessness’ mental health needs
  • Contracts with community partners for tutoring supports and services within the shelter or place of nighttime residence
  • Contracts with housing navigators to help connect families to community resources
  • Stipends to train guidance counselors and school social workers to be informed about trauma unique to the homeless experience
Hygiene supplies including personal care items and cleaning items Hygiene products (soap, detergent, cleaning items, diapers/baby wipes)
  • Hygiene products can also be in the Care Closet (referenced above)
  • Feminine hygiene products
Supplemental transportation for school activities Providing supplemental transportation to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities.

Consider providing round-trip transportation to and from the school of origin or when necessary to enable children and youth experiencing homelessness to attend classes and participate fully in school activities. Transportation reimbursement is based on days of school attendance.
  • Transportation to before-school and from after-school club meetings
  • Transportation to and from club and sporting events that students participate in
  • Gas cards for families to transport their students are an allowable use. Grantees should adhere to local policies and procedures regarding gas cards
  • Reasonable and necessary car repairs
Cell phones or other devices to support school participation and Wi-Fi hotspots especially in shelters and underserved communities Purchasing cell phones or other technological devices or equipment, mobile hotspots, wireless service plans, or installation of Community Wi-Fi Hotspots (e.g., at homeless shelters), especially in underserved communities, for unaccompanied, homeless children and youth to enable such children and youth to attend school and fully participate in school activities.
  • Laptops for students to take home
  • Cell phones and prepaid minutes for parents to communicate with the school
  • Wi-Fi hotspots for students to complete their homework
Paying staff to identify students experiencing homelessness and to review policies and procedures for compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act Hiring dedicated staff to identify and support students experiencing homelessness. Or McKinney-Vento program improvement (such as professional development tools, needs assessment, etc.
  • Stipends for staff to review enrollment policies and procedures to remove barriers specific to homeless experience
  • Stipends for staff to review EMIS data and reporting procedures
  • Stipends to coordinate supports and services with local attendance officers
  • The difference of the homeless education liaison’s salary and benefits before and during the grant’s implementation (if the liaison spent 5% of time supporting students experiencing homelessness but now spends 15% of their time, this grant can cover 10% of salary and benefits)
  • Stipends for staff to conduct a Needs Assessment
  • Stipends for staff to audit transcripts to help students experiencing homelessness graduate on time and ensure earned partial credit for transfer students
Hotel/motel or other emergency housing stays Paying for short-term, temporary housing (e.g. a few days in a motel) when such emergency housing is the only reasonable option for COVID-safe temporary housing and when necessary to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities (including summer school).

While the time frame for short-term housing is fact-specific and based on individual circumstances, housing transitions can be complex and take time. A relevant consideration regarding “short-term” might include ensuring a student can complete a week of school before a housing change.  ARP-HCY funds should be used as a last resort when other funding sources are not available through collaboration and coordination with local housing providers, local government agencies, or nonprofits that support families and youth experiencing homelessness.  Reference guidance from the U.S. Department of Education here.
  • Coordination with local hotels or motels to obtain a business rate and establish a line of credit for families
  • Vouchers to stay at a hotel or motel
  • Coordination with community partners to put families in a hotel or motel that the community partner can then take over payments to ease transition
Store cards to purchase allowable expenditures Providing store cards or prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate fully in school activities.

Consider providing food assistance if it is reasonable and necessary to assist homeless students to take advantage of educational and extracurricular opportunities when food is not available to the student through other sources (e.g. free school meals or  community-based resources). 
  • Vouchers for laundromats
  • Store cards to purchase clothing, shoes and school supplies
  • Store cards to purchase hygiene products 
Grantees can have conversations with families to ensure that purchases align with allowable uses. The Department does not require receipts from the purchases since this could create a barrier to accessing this resource. Grantees should adhere to local policies and procedures regarding purchasing of store cards.
Supporting college and career readiness and smooth transitions to higher education Reference pages three and four of the Dear Colleague letter for more information.
  • Assisting youth and their parents or guardians with completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and other college readiness and college access activities 
  • Adding staff hours to provide such assistance, and providing transportation so that homeless youth may participate in these activities
  • Paying for college application expenses such as registration fees, preparation materials, entrance and placement exams, and other fees associated with college applications
  • Hiring graduation coaches or paying stipends to counselors to conduct transcript audits to help award partial credits and ensure students are on track for graduation
  • Covering any additional fees to participate in early college/dual enrollment programs or career and technical education programs



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Last Modified: 5/14/2024 2:28:55 PM