A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 412

Adult Education for the Homeless Program

(CFDA No. 84.192)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: Title VII-A of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 11421) (expires September 30, 1999).

Purpose: To provide discretionary grants to State education agencies to enable them to implement, either directly or through contracts or subgrants, programs of basic skills remediation and literacy training for homeless adults.

Funding History

Fiscal Year Appropriation
1987 $ 6,900,000
1988 7,180,000
1989 7,094,000
1990 7,397,000
1991 9,759,000
1992 9,759,000
1993 9,584,000
1994 9,584,000

II. Program Information and Analysis

Performance Indicators

In 1992, the Adult Education for the Homeless (AEH) program served 50,000 clients, a marked increase from the 18,000 homeless adults in the first year of program operation.

Three in five States seek additional State-level funding and one in five seek additional local-level funding. Approximately 44 percent of local AEH programs receive supplementary funds from non-AEH sources, averaging $30,000.

All States coordinate services with various other Federal programs, including the Adult Education Program, Homeless Children and Youth, JTPA, JOBS, Even Start, and Head Start.

Population Targeting

Services are provided to adult homeless individuals who are 16 years of age or over and not enrolled in school. The Department encourages applicants to target a subpopulation of homeless individuals sharing common characteristics, such as homeless mothers with children, homeless alcoholic men, or the chronically mentally ill homeless.


In the past year, approximately 50,000 homeless adults were served. Adult education services are provided to help homeless adults increase their employability, earn a GED or some other type of adult diploma, or reach personal or economic objectives. In FY 1993, 28 grants were awarded.

Examples of funded services include basic literacy training, English-as-a-Second-Language training, family literacy, life-coping skills, and employability training (such as reading want ads, preparing resumes, and filling out application forms).

Programs are required to develop cooperative relationships with other service agencies to provide an integrated package of support services addressing the most pressing needs of homeless individuals at or through the project site. Examples of appropriate support services provided through coordination include: assistance with food and shelter, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, individual and group mental health counseling, child care, case management, job skills training, and job placement. Outreach services to recruit homeless persons to participate in the program must also be included in each project.

Program Administration

By statute, only State education agencies are eligible to apply for the program. States compete for funds, and those that are funded make awards to local education agencies, community colleges, and shelter providers to provide literacy training to homeless adults. An evaluation component is built into each project.


A study on participant outcomes (III.3) showed the following results:

Typically, four in five program participants accomplish one or more personal goals, three in five improve basic skills competencies, one in five enters another educational program, and approximately one in 50 receives an adult secondary education diploma. Among clients enrolling in ESL programs, 54 percent moved up one or more ESL levels.

For program particpants in GED instructional programs, average scores increased significantly -- by about five points -- in each of the five GED subject areas.

Two in five participants obtained or improved their employment, and about one in 10 got off welfare. In addition, about one in 10 registered to vote for the first time.

Management Improvement Strategies

A number of States are producing materials on how best to provide literacy and basic skills services to the homeless. These manuals and curriculums developed specifically for use with homeless adults are shared among States.

Two workshops are conducted each year by the Department of Education's Division of Adult Education and Literacy for State coordinators of adult education for the homeless.

III. Sources of Information

  1. Program files.

  2. Summary information prepared by Department staff on the first four years of program operations is available.

  3. Review of the Adult Education for the Homeless Program (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1994).

IV. Planned Studies


V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
Jim Parker, (202) 205-5499
Melissa Morrill, (202) 205-9872
Cindy Towsner, (202) 205-5864

Program Studies:
Sandra Furey, (202) 401-3630

[Adult Education--National Programs--Evaluation and Technical Assistance] [Table of Contents] [Adult Education--National Workplace Literacy Program]