Funding for housing stability is one example of how the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools removes barriers for Vancouver School District students. Through financial support from the Foundation for VPS and community partners, Family-Community Resource coordinators mobilize resources to help families access support services and basic needs items like food, clothing, personal hygiene items, utility assistance, transportation, school supplies, diapers, car seats, etc.
The first two months of the school year have been busy for VPS staff working to prevent student homelessness. On average, the Foundation invests $100 per child through the fund, which gives a family one time rental assistance to remain in their homes when they find themselves unable to pay rent due to a short-term job loss, illness or family crisis. The Foundation for VPS budgeted funds to help 200 students this school year. Almost 100 children have been helped so far this fall.
Bolstering these efforts, the Vancouver Rotary Foundation awarded the Foundation for VPS a grant of $5,000 to address housing support. Cascades Presbyterian Church invested $10,000 last year to help prevent homelessness among Vancouver Public Schools and Evergreen Public Schools students. The Foundation for VPS Housing Stability Fund was recognized for this partnership at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington, with an honorable mention in the “Leadership in Collaboration” category.
“We are extremely grateful for the community support and ongoing partnerships that help remove barriers for students and families,” said Nada Wheelock, Foundation for VPS executive director. “When there is stability at home, children can continue to attend their neighborhood school and arrive focused and ready to learn. Together, we can make a lifelong difference for hundreds of students.”
Every family’s story is unique. With schools serving as the point of contact to identify critical needs among our student population, the Foundation for VPS can direct funding to ensure VPS families can stay in their homes, regain their stability, and allow students to focus on their education. Overall, a small investment compared with the cost of homelessness. During the 2017-18 school year, the Housing Stability Fund helped 247 Vancouver children from 90 families avoid eviction though one time housing assistance.
Learn more about Foundation for VPS funding for Basic Needs.