It is currently estimated that there are 750 to 1,000 homeless students in Topeka and Shawnee County schools. The City of Topeka and our numerous partners are excited to announce a new program called Impact Avenues that will help these students get the resources and opportunities they need to get a quality education and not have to worry about where they will sleep at night.
How It Started
Impact Avenues is based on a program in Wyandotte County called Impact KCK, which was successful in reducing student homelessness by 50 percent in just a few years. Impact Avenues will seek to significantly reduce student homelessness in Topeka through using collective impact – a model that removes barriers in order to accomplish goals, reduces duplication of efforts in the community, and collects data to measure success.
How to Qualify for Impact Avenues
A student is considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (i.e. living in cars, parks, public spaces, house sharing, couch surfing, living in motels or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations, living in emergency shelters, etc.). In order to qualify for Impact Avenues, a student has to be referred through a USD 501 liaison. Once approved, children and their families will get the support they need to obtain stable housing and assistance with overcoming barriers to success like transportation, employment, financial literacy, healthcare and others.
Impact Avenue Partners
This program would not be possible without numerous community partners that have dedicated time, resources and input throughout this process. Advisors Excel will be providing up to $500,000 to support the Impact Avenues program over the next three years. The Topeka Community Foundation will administer the Impact Avenues funding on behalf of Advisors Excel through an existing partnership with the Topeka Community Foundation. The City of Topeka will serve as the Backbone Agency. USD 501, the Kansas Department of Children and Families, Topeka Rescue Mission, Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc., Valeo and many more agencies have pledged to engage in this work to improve the quality of life for our students and Topekans.