Homeless Family Communication Tools


Free Tools for Communicating with Parents about Rights and Options

Let the parents in your classroom know about homeless family options. It’s easy when you include these free inserts into your open house fliers, classroom newsletter templates, school websites or any teacher letter to parents you send home. These are effective public service announcements that build upon your existing parent teacher communication plan.

Spanish translations included below!

Go to recommendations on how and when to communicate with parents

Tools for Homeless Family Awareness

There is a considerable library of outreach material at the National Center on Homeless Education (a site funded by the U.S. Department of Education). I have prepared the material presented here based on my experience in the classroom. My motto: “keep it simple.”

Our target audience – parents (whether they have homeless students or not) – respond best to simple and straightforward messages. Like us, they are busy. Get their attention and cause them to seek more information from expert sources, such as your district homeless family liaison.

How to Download

For all of these document types, choose to download them to your own computer when a dialog box opens…or open them, then do a “save as,” usually by accessing the “file” menu in the program in which they open.

File Types Explained

Files marked PDF require a free PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat. It is most likely that your computer already has a PDF reader installed.

Files marked ZIP: The document is embedded in a Zip (compressed) file. If your computer does not automatically open the folder, download the Zip file then unzip or double-click it to gain access.

Images: Right click on the image, select “copy image” from the menu, then right click on the document you are creating and select “paste” from the menu. If you are using Word or another desktop publishing program, you can then re-size the image.

Fliers – Full Page and Half Page

Distribute these homeless family information fliers at open house or insert them into hard-copy classroom newsletters. All fliers say the same thing…whether they are written in English or Spanish, color or black-and-white.

Get a preview! Click each image below to open a pop-up window with a small sample of how the flier looks.


Click to download a full-page flier:

Save paper! The half-page fliers below contain two identical fliers side-by-side. After printing, cut them in half to end up with 4-1/4 x 8-1/2 inch smaller fliers.

Click to download a half-page flier:

Text for Written Correspondence

Copy this text into your classroom newsletters, e-mails or web pages, then format and edit as you normally do. When you click the links below, boxes will open with the text inside…highlight, right click/copy, then paste. Click the links again to hide the text.

(English Text Version)

***Note that there are places to insert names and phone numbers in the 2nd to last paragraph. Proofread carefully!***

Possible headlines:

Homelessness Happens
Help for Homeless Families
Benefits for Homeless Students

Homelessness happens to many families every year...right here in our local area. Becoming homeless is a huge stress for kids of any age, but it doesn’t have to impact kid's education. Your school system is here to help.

By federal law, students are guaranteed the right to continue attending the school of their choice...even if the family moves out of the school’s attendance area. Our district will provide transportation to get children to school even if they live outside the neighborhood.

The governments defines homelessness to be "any individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence." In addition to living in a shelter, this can include doubling up with other families, living in temporary trailers, living in distressed or unsafe buildings or awaiting foster care.

To help, we must be informed.

If you or someone you know needs help to keep kids in school - learning and growing with their friends - ask me or call our homeless benefits coordinator (insert name of coordinator) for more information at (insert phone number).

We are focused on students and it’s our job to help!

(Spanish Text Version)

***Notes: There are places to insert names and phone numbers in the 2nd to last paragraph. Proofread carefully! This text reads the same as the English version provided above.***

Possible headlines:

La falta de vivienda es real (Homelessness Happens)
Ayuda a familias sin vivienda (Help for Homeless Families)
Subsidios para estudiantes sin vivienda (Benefits for Homeless Students)

La falta de vivienda le sucede a muchas familias cada año...aquí mismo en nuestra zona local. Quedarse sin vivienda es un enorme estrés para los niños de cualquier edad, pero no tiene que impactar la educación de los niños. Su sistema escolar está aquí para ayudar.

Por ley federal, a los estudiantes se les garantiza el derecho de continuar atendiendo la escuela de su elección...incluso si la familia se muda a un lugar fuera de la zona de asistencia escolar. Nuestro distrito proporcionará el transporte para que los niños puedan ir a la escuela, aún si viven fuera del barrio.

El gobierno define la falta de vivienda como: "cualquier persona que no tenga vivienda durante la noche que sea fija, regular y adecuada." Además de vivir en refugios, se pueden incluir, el compartir vivienda con otras familias, vivir en remolques temporales, vivir en edificios inseguros o en deterioro o estar en espera de ser ubicado en un hogar de acogida.

Para ayudar, debemos estar informados.

Si usted o alguien que usted conozca necesitan ayuda para que los niños permanezcan en la escuela, y así puedan aprender y crecer con sus amigos, para más información pregúnteme o llame a nuestro coordinador de subsidio de vivienda (insert name of coordinator) al (insert phone number).

¡Estamos enfocados en los estudiantes y es nuestra labor ayudar!

“Advertisements” for Newsletters or Fliers

These are small display graphics. Use them to call attention to homeless family information elsewhere in your newsletter…or insert them into your own fliers. They can also be used for elementary school websites or middle or high school websites.

  • Color and black-and-white options
  • Spanish graphics say the same thing as the English ones

Right click on the image and select “copy image” then right click and “paste” into the document you are creating:


Headline Banners – 1-Column and Full-Page Width

Use these graphic images in fliers or newsletters or on web pages. They are great enhancements to your efforts to build parent teacher relationships by providing quality information that impacts their lives.

  • Color and black-and-white options
  • 1- and 2-column options
  • Spanish graphics say the same thing as the English ones

Right click on the image and select “copy image” then right click and “paste” into the document you are creating:






Questions and feedback

Do you have any questions about these homeless family outreach tools? Requests for different resources? Please let me know by using my contact form.