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Education Toolkit

A collage featuring a housing complex being built and a family holding an Everyone In sign

What is the Education Toolkit?

A comprehensive resource for educators and guardians to use as a guide when talking to children and teens about homelessness.

Young people can experience a lot of discordant emotions when they see homelessness without context, and here in L.A. County they encounter it every day. Early learning can help them better understand the power of compassion, empathy, and personal action in solving this crisis.

The Education Toolkit is designed to be adapted based on the needs of your students, with an introductory framing section that will help you think about how to address these difficult topics in a sensitive and age-appropriate way.

The funding to create this resource was made possible through a grant from the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative.

Two people sit in front of a camera together


A mother laughs while a father bounces a happy baby on his shoulders

Full Toolkit

The full education toolkit with nine lessons for grades 1-12 and an appendix with ancillary resources.

Download Full Toolkit

A family smiles and holds an Everyone In sign


A one-pager for parents and educators on how to talk with children about homelessness. Ideal for ages 0-10.

Download One-pager

A mother walks with her child


A resource to help educators and care providers frame why this toolkit is important and how to use it.

Download Framing

Unit 1: What is homelessness?

This unit lays the foundation on which future conversations about homelessness and housing will be built. It explores the nature of a home and the support, both material and emotional, that homes provide, challenging students to consider life without one. Older students explore the concept of a fundamental right to housing, and examine the stigma that is often associated with homelessness.

A house in front of colorful geometric shapes

Elementary School

Define what a home is with this art and discussion-based activity for grades 1-5.

Download Elementary Unit 1

A collage featuring an unhoused man and a housing complex

Middle School

Explore who has a right to a safe, stable home through this activity for grades 6-8.

Download Middle School Unit 1

A collage featuring a housing complex and a service provider holding supplies

High School

Examine compassion fatigue and the stigma of homelessness, for grades 9-12.

Download High School Unit 1

Unit 2: What causes homelessness?

This unit explores the causes of homelessness and asks students to let go of preconceived notions about homelessness and the people who experience it. Students are challenged to examine the systemic issues that propagate homelessness, explore the problem through data and real stories, and learn about the services and resources that help people regain housing.

A tent in front of colorful geometric shapes

Elementary School

Consider places that people live that are not a home and how that impacts them, grades 1-5.

Download Elementary Unit 2

A person holding the hand of an unhoused man

Middle School

Explore the difference between perceptions about homelessness, and reality. Intended for grades 6-8.

Download Middle School Unit 2

A housing complex being built

High School

Examine root causes of homelessness through statistics and discussion, intended for grades 9-12.

Download High School Unit 2

Unit 3: What impact can I have on homelessness?

This unit turns the tools of understanding and empathy gathered from the other units and challenges students to come up with an action plan. Students will learn about the people working to end homelessness in L.A. County and find age-appropriate ways that they can get involved.

Three volunteers pose with donated supplies

Elementary School

Students in grades 1-5 explore ways they can help their neighbors living outside, and commit to actions they can take.

Download Elementary Unit 3

A group of Everyone In supporters smile together

Middle School

Learn more about the people working to end homelessness, and what each one of us can do to help, for grades 6-8.

Download Middle School Unit 3

A collage featuring volunteers and a man holding a sign that says "housing is a human right"

High School

Students examine civic responsibility and activism and the roles they can play in ending homelessness, grades 9-12.

Download High School Unit 3


Additional resources to help you get the most out of the toolkit, find places to volunteer, and connect with the L.A. County Homeless Liaison for your school.
A young girl wearing an Everyone In pin smiles and holds up peace signs on both hands