The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced the launch of a new app aimed at helping students and families experiencing homelessness to connect with local services and resources.
The Center for Schools and Communities developed the app – Finding Your Way in PA – which is available on mobile and desktop. While using the app, students can request assistance with services and resources in their current location, local communities, and throughout the state.
“It is critically important that we remove the barriers faced by students experiencing homelessness to help them learn, grow, and thrive continuously and seamlessly, and this new app brings that assistance into the 21st century,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty.
“Through this innovative new resource, Pennsylvanians can access free help 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a mobile phone or a desktop computer,” Hagarty added. “Users without access to these devices are encouraged to visit their local library or community center for help and support.”
The app features a “List” and “Map View” to find and connect to services, a chatbot to help users find services, and various national crisis hotlines. It is available on the web, Google Play Store, and Apple App Store.
The app’s development was supported through the American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) Program.
“Finding Your Way in PA supports educational stability and strives to foster positive education outcomes so that students and families experiencing housing instability can succeed in school, work, and life,” PDE said.