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Region 5                                                

Region 5 encompasses a 10 county region, including 69 school districts and 20 shelters. The Regional Coordinator for the Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is based out of the Midwestern Intermediate Unit 4 in Grove City, Mercer County. The Region’s Site Coordinator is employed by the Erie School District, based in Erie County. In addition, there are five social work liaisons assigned to assist with the coverage of the territory encompassed by Region 5, based out of the Midwestern Intermediate Unit 4 and the Riverview Intermediate Unit 6. 

The primary goal of Region 5's program is to assist homeless children and youth with access to a free, appropriate public education. At times, this takes the form of advocacy, technical assistance, and assistance with the removal of barriers facing homeless students and their families, via the McKinney-Vento Law. The mission of the Homeless Children’s Initiative is to provide as much stability as possible for students who are experiencing the painful issue of homelessness in their lives. School is often the one consistent place for these children, and education is an important step in breaking the cycle of poverty.

The staff assigned to this program understands the federal McKinney-Vento Law, and can assist with interpreting the rights of homeless children. These coordinators can be used as a resource by school district liaisons, community partners, shelter staff, and homeless children and families. The program can assist with:

  • Enhanced understanding of, and compliance with, the McKinney-Vento Law
  • School enrollment and placement, pre-K - grade 12
  • Answering questions related to transportation, child accounting guidelines and Title I set asides
  • Provision of referrals for clothing, food, shelter and related services
  • Provision of training to schools and community agencies
  • Distribution of literature related to homeless children
  • Increasing public awareness of homelessness in local communities
  • Provision of contact information for the identified district liaison within each school district
  • Provision of practical ideas related to identifying and working with homeless children and youth

For additional information on the services provided by Region 5, please contact:

Midwestern Intermediate Unit #4
Wendy Kinnear
Regional Site Coordinator
Telephone:  724-458-6700 x1289
Mary Jo Kelly
Intermediate Unit Liaison (Mercer County)
Telephone:  724-458-6700 x1594
Susan Pfahles
Intermediate Unit Liaison (Lawrence County)
Telephone:  724-652-3302
Robert Papa
Intermediate Unit Liaison (Butler County)
Telephone:  724-458-6700 x1541
Erie School District
Danny Jones
Site Coordinator
Telephone:  814-874-6123
Riverview Intermediate Unit #6
Karlene Kimes
Intermediate Unit Liaison (Clarion, Forest, Venango Counties)
Telephone:  814-226-7103
Mary Miller
Intermediate Unit Liaison (Forest, Venango Counties)
Telephone:  814-226-7103 x152