FIT (Families in Transition)
barrel fire

The Fayetteville High School Student Council holds their annual Homeless Vigil to benefit the Families in Transition Program. Students spend the night in makeshift housing to raise money and awareness for struggling families. Be sure to watch for their next Vigil in late November or early December.

Families in Transition

Ginger Thornton, LCSW
Families in Transition Coordinator
Fayetteville Public Schools
(479) 973-8653


The face of homelessness is a child. A child who may have moved three times this year, may be living with a family or in a shelter, and may have changed schools numerous times. A child in this situation does not worry about learning or homework, but about where to sleep, or where to get something to eat.

FPS is trying to make a difference. The FIT Program, with the assistance of the McKinney-Vento (M-V) Homeless Assistance Act, is helping children and families with enrollment, transportation, and school meals. We can also assist children and families with clothing, school supplies, and connect them to resources in the community. Last year alone, FPS worked with over 270 families, who under the M-V Act met the guidelines for homeless. We need your help to reach and meet the needs of these children and families.

Causes of homelessness:

  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Deep Poverty
  • Health Problems
  • Domestic Violence
  • Natural and other disasters
  • Abuse/Neglect (unaccompanied youth)

Barriers to education for homeless children and youth:

  • Enrollment requirements (school records, immunizations, proof of residence, and guardianship)
  • High mobility resulting in lack of school stability and education continuity
  • Lack of access to programs
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of school supplies, clothing, etc.
  • Poor health fatigue, hunger

Who are homeless children and youth?

Individuals who lack a fixed, adequate, and regular nighttime residence such as those:

  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • Living in hotels, motels, or trailer parks or campgrounds due to lack of affordable housing
  • Awaiting foster care placement
  • Children abandoned in hospitals
  • Sleeping in public or private places not designed as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans
  • Living with others due to lack of permanent housing as a result of economic hardship
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Unaccompanied Youth
  • Migratory children living in the above situations

Useful Resources

(Note: All links open a new window.)
Local Resources List
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
National Center for Homeless Education
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
National Low Income Housing Coalition

 

Think about it. Every educated person is not rich, but almost every educated person has a job, and a way out of poverty. So education is a fundamental solution to poverty. -Governor Kathleen Blanco