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Students in Temporary Living Situations 


Educational Support for Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) offers assistance to students in pre-kindergarden-12th grade and their families who are experiencing homelessness. The STLS program is dedicated to ensuring that students in temporary living situations have equal access to the same free and appropriate educational opportunities as students who are permanently housed. This commitment to the educational rights of children and youth in temporary living situations applies to all services, programs and activities provided or made available by CPS.


The program serves all students who are in temporary living situations. If a student lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence then he or she is eligible for STLS services. This includes: sharing housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason; living in a shelter or transitional housing program; living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternatives; living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, or similar places; awaiting foster care placement; refugee or migratory students in any of the above situations; youth not in the custody of a parent or a guardian (unaccompanied youth), of any age.



The goal of the STLS program is to protect the educational rights of students in temporary living situations and to provide services to students and their families.


Program benefits

Immediate school enrollment. A school must immediately enroll students in temporary living situations even if they lack health, immunization or school records, proof of guardianship, proof of residency, or any other documentation normally required for school enrollment.


Remain enrolled in his/her selected school for as long as he/she remains in a temporary living situation or, if the student becomes permanently housed, until the end of the academic year.


A student in a temporary living situation attending his/her school of origin has the right to transportation to go to and from the school of origin as long as she or he is in a temporary living situation or, if the student becomes permanently housed, until the end of the academic year. CPS staff shall inform parents/guardians or youth of transportation services to and from school and school-related activities.


Waiver of school-related fees.



Here are a few additional resources for students experiencing homelessness.


Students rights

STLS FAQs for Parents and Caregivers



Greater Chicago Food Depository – go to this site to search by zip code and find location and hours of operation of food pantries in Chicago. Opens in a new window icon


Chicago Central Referral System Assessment Tool – If you are homeless or living in shelter, you can apply for housing on the CRS. The housing available on the website includes permanent supportive housing and permanent housing with short-term supports. Opens in a new window icon


National Runaway Switchboard has resources and information for students who are thinking about or have run away from home. Opens in a new window icon


NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline – For assistance with issues related to students experiencing homelessness accessing higher education, contact the NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline at 1 (855) 446-2673 (toll-free) orhighered@naehcy.org.Opens in a new window icon


Chicago Coalition for the Homeless – offers legal assistance and advocacy to homeless families and unaccompanied youth. Opens in a new window icon


Chicago HOPES – offers after school homework assistance to students living in shelters. Opens in a new window icon




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Page Last Modified on Tuesday, June 03, 2014