Photo Courtesy of HopSkipDrive  -

Photo Courtesy of HopSkipDrive

Winter break can bring joy and relaxation for students, but for some — especially those experiencing homelessness — it's a time marked by uncertainty and disruption. Ensuring these students have consistent, reliable transportation post-winter break is a critical factor in maintaining their educational continuity.

To keep up with changing demand, consider a flexible, scalable transportation solution

Since students experiencing homelessness may relocate frequently and live well outside bus zones, supplemental transportation is a common choice for accommodating such students. After all, a small vehicle can be dispatched to any location, ensuring each student is reliably and safely transported to and from school, regardless of where home may currently be.

What’s more, students experiencing homelessness cannot predict upheavals. And since the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires schools to enroll students experiencing homelessness immediately, districts must be prepared to arrange transportation to and from home and school activities as soon as possible, often the same or the very next day.

To ensure a swift response, many schools turn to supplemental solutions to meet the fluctuating demand for McKinney-Vento transportation, especially after winter break. Supplemental transportation allows school and district executives to quickly scale transportation operations without a long-term investment in equipment or personnel. This also means that if demand for McKinney-Vento transportation dwindles, the school or district can shrink its supplemental transportation program back to its original size.

Moreover, some alternative transportation solutions utilize technology to enable schools and families to easily book and make changes to rides with as little as 8 hours’ notice.

The benefits of supplemental transportation

There are many other benefits that come with the one-on-one support students get with supplemental transportation. These types of benefits are especially apparent when drivers who are transporting students experiencing homelessness have significant caregiving experience. Drivers with caregiving experience are not only empathetic but they are also knowledgeable about best practices for working with vulnerable student populations.

What’s more, technology — such as an app with Rider Notes — can enable ride organizers to provide relevant details about a rider, along with specific pickup and drop-off instructions. Every student’s situation is unique, and having drivers who understand these types of nuances and complexities can go a long way.

A simple ride to school may be the most consistent thing in the life of a student experiencing homelessness. Why not make the most of it by ensuring they are paired with a driver who knows exactly how to make them feel comfortable?

A proven solution

HopSkipDrive partners with districts and schools to make sure students experiencing homelessness don’t get left behind due to a lack of transportation.

  • HopSkipDrive has arranged nearly 750,000 rides for youth experiencing homelessness, enabling them to stay at their school through a time of instability.
  • More than 230 districts and schools across the country partner with HopSkipDrive on McKinney-Vento transportation needs.
  • More than 6,200 McKinney-Vento riders have been supported on the HopSkipDrive platform to date.

Learn more about HopSkipDrive — an innovative, supplemental solution for safe, reliable McKinney-Vento transportation for students experiencing homelessness.