City schools’ parents target homelessness

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By Amanda Tonoli


Providing resources to parents was the goal of a Youngstown City Schools Parent-Community meeting.

Word of mouth is the best avenue of communication, said Linda Hoey, district chief of family engagement.

“This is better than sending home documentation,” Hoey said during Thursday morning’s meeting.

Part of the meeting was dedicated to informing parents about the Youngstown City School District Homeless Program.

“If you can’t take advantage of this program, it’s good for you to have that information because you might know someone that’s in a situation and you’ll be able to impart that information,” Hoey said.

Mary Cohan, the Mahoning County Homeless Youth Program coordinator, said it’s her goal to work with all students in need within the district.

“Homelessness is caused [by] many reasons,” she said. “But our job is to keep students in their school of origin no matter where they’re temporarily relocated to. ... We want to help them when they’re going through such change and turmoil in their lives.”

Some causes for homelessness include a disaster, some kind of trauma, a lost job or an overall decline in economics, Cohan said.

Oftentimes when a family loses its home, a student’s place of residence can change to live with other family, friends or those willing to help.

Cohan said she tries to ensure not only that students can stay in their home schools but also that students are given the transportation they need to go to school.

“We are advocates,” Cohan added. “When people ask me what I do, a lot of times I say, “I work with parents.’ We look at their housing situation to try to go through some steps to try to get families back into a home. We connect them with a lot of resources we have in town.”

For information, contact Cohan at 330-744-8711.

Other topics discussed during the meeting included parent and family involvement with students and budgeting advice from RaCole Taltoan of Rockbrook Business Services.

For information about family services, contact Hoey at 330-740-8776, ext. 8776 or

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