Project Connect provides advocacy, paired with specialized educational services and lifestyle enrichment opportunities for children and youth who are experiencing homelessness.
Project Connect services include obtaining appropriate documents such as birth certificates, transcripts and immunization records necessary for school enrollment. In addition, they clear any obstacle that may hinder school attendance, such as lack of transportation or food service. Project Connect provides bus cards, bus tokens and gas vouchers, and arranges taxi service. The staff arranges meal service and provides school supplies ensuring that each child is prepared for school.
Project Connect operates school-based programs within Cincinnati Public Schools. Students enrolled in the programs are eligible to receive bus transportation, after-school tutoring, psychological assessment and support. Site managers act as liaisons between school, family and shelters, which increases the students’ chances of remaining in the same school for the entire year.
An Adolescent Manager works with youth experiencing homelessness ages thirteen to seventeen. Students with special needs receive services until age twenty-two. The Adolescent Manager maintains contact with school administrators and personnel, assists in the enrollment process and arranges transportation and food service. The Adolescent Manager facilitates educational choices and connects students with appropriate services. Additionally, the manager provides professional development for members of the community.
An eight-week summer enrichment program, offered five days a week, serves children ages six through twelve. Transportation to and from area shelters enhances participation. Teachers and interns from area universities plan a full day stressing reading and social skills. Throughout the eight weeks children enjoy field trips, crafts, swimming, special programs and making friends.
Advocacy and Outreach
Advocacy and Outreach are essential components of Project Connect’s work. Project Connect helps educate individuals on the realities facing children and youth experiencing homelessness through speaking engagements and newspaper articles. Community awareness and participation are pivotal to the long-term success of the children and youth that Project Connect serves.