Online Learning at Hilliard House Shelter -

Friends & Neighbors

Online Learning at Hilliard House Shelter

Like many other school-aged kids around the country, kids living at Hilliard House Shelter will be learning virtually this fall, and we have been busy preparing. After multiple collaborative meetings with Richmond City and Henrico County Public Schools, we have created a safe and socially distanced space for each of our students to participate in online school here at the shelter.

Each student receives the school supplies they need to succeed in virtual learning.

Housing Families First Program Director, Cindy Moussavou, shares her thoughts: “The HFF staff is hyper-committed to this issue of school supply readiness, childcare needs, and educational access- virtual or otherwise- throughout the year. We continue to serve families moving through hotels, emergency shelter, and into rental units while supporting them in the undertow of the pandemic and its dire effects on the existing housing affordability crisis. When we ask families to rise, we rise with them. This is just another example of that rising. With you, our partners and neighbors, we are successfully equipped to support them at each step.”

Hundreds of school supplies were donated by generous community members.

Due to our diligent planning and preparation, Housing Families First has been asked to share our plans for virtual schooling in shelter to be used in shelters throughout the country. In addition to reconfiguring and boosting our Wi-Fi capabilities to ensure all kids have the internet access they need to fully participate in their classes, we have solicited and received small tables to create socially distanced spaces for learning. We created a detailed enhanced list of school supplies the kids will need to start the school year virtually in shelter, which have now been donated by our wonderful support network. The parents are the learning coaches, but our social work intern is acting as our school champion at the shelter, ready to help with any needs that arise. We’re ready!

HFF Executive Director Beth Vann-Turnbull wishes everyone a happy first day of school! Watch video:

We at Housing Families First wish all students, parents, teachers, school staff, and especially our partners at Henrico County McKinney Vento Office and Richmond City Schools Family Support Center a fantastic start to the school year. We are, as always, thankful for our village.