About Us

Who We Are

We are members of the Liberal Arts Action Lab and students of Trinity College and Capital Community College.  We have been working on this project to bring awareness to students and educators about the youth homelessness crisis in Hartford, Connecticut, and the rights of homeless students protected by the McKinney Vento Act. 

The Mckinney Vento act is a federal law that provides certain rights for homeless youth. this act requires a McKinney Vento liaison at every school district level.


Through this semester, we have been striving to answer these four research questions:

      1. Who are the existing school personnel in the Hartford public school system that are aiding homeless youth? What are they doing right now to help with homeless youth?
      2. What resources are available (knowledge of rights, transportation, accessibility to McKinney-Vento) for homeless youth?
      3. How do we build relationships with Hartford Public School personnel and get them to work with CCEH? 
      4. How knowledgeable are Capital Community College students of the rights of Homeless Youth?

We answered these questions through qualitative research by conducting interviews and surveys with school personnel and Capital Community College students. See more on how we answered these questions in the Methods tab. We also organized two events in Hartford area public schools to raise awareness about the McKinney Vento act and the homelessness crisis. See more in the Action tab.

Research Team

Clare. D, Jeremiah R., and Clare. B surveying the Capital Community College community

Karolina Barrientos

School: Trinity College

Graduation Year: 2022

Major: Sociology and Educational Studies 

Project Interest: I wanted to do this project because as an intended education major I wanted to work with school personnel who needed extra support in helping students. Youth homelessness is a major issue nationwide but I felt the need to do what I can on a local level. 

Clare Blanchard

School: Trinity College

Graduation Year: 2022

Major: English

Project Interest:  I wanted to do this class because I was a part of the Mayor’s Youth Council for my home city, we did a lot of work to help the community, this class was an opportunity for me to get involved and help the Hartford community.  I chose the Youth Homelessness project because I think this is a very important issue that needs to be discussed, I wanted to be a part of spreading awareness of this issue and involved in informing the community about this issue.

Clare Donohoe

School: Trinity College

Graduation Year: 2022

Major: Educational Studies, Theatre & Dance

Project Interest: I chose the Youth Homelessness project because as someone who wants to go into the education field, the lack of knowledge surrounding the rights of those affected by this crisis is detrimental to students and youth who are dealing with housing instability and homelessness. It is important that all educators are aware of the McKinney Vento act to help their students in their most vulnerable state.

Jeremiah Rodriguez

School: Capital Community College

Graduation Year: 2021

Major: Bio- Technology

Project Interest: I chose The Youth Homelessness project because I wanted to reach out to the youth who are homeless and need help with their lives. I believe that with a little push, Hartford can reach their goal with helping students continue their education. 

About our Community Partner: Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness’ (CCEH) mission is to end homelessness by conducting research, such as the annual “Point-in-Time Count” which provides a snapshot of homelessness in Connecticut one day in January. CCEH spreads awareness, advocacy, and education to the public and policymakers on homelessness. CCEH also creates community connections, supports service providers with education, training, and resources to end homelessness. CCEH also offers Emergency Assistance through service providers to aid homeless individuals and families to find housing. 

Carl Asikainen, our community partner, is the Central CT Community Impact Coordinator and met with our team on a monthly basis, where he has given us the advice and connections needed to complete our project. He is also the Youth Systems Coordinator at CCEH.

Our team was tasked with working with a selection of schools within Greater Hartford, with a focus on creating events for Hunger Homeless Awareness week, to catalyze discussions, and youth leadership to address homelessness.  These tasks matter to Harford because as of January 2019, Hartford had the highest rate of homelessness when compared to other cities in Connecticut1 and through awareness, this number can continue to decrease. This includes outreach to schools for staff, faculty, and student awareness of CCEH, and sharing of data and resources that explain the rights of homeless students. Our team was also tasked with spreading the word on CCEH’s Youth Count survey, to get more schools, and more data, onboard.


  1. Apostsos, Mike, Carl Asikainen, Marry Ann Haley, Jackie Janosko, F. Orimogunje, Brian Roccapriore, Susan Walker. Connecticut Counts Annual Point-in-Time Count and Youth Outreach & Count. Hartford: Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, 2019. Print.

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