Student Support Network
TCAPS Student Support Network
The Student Support Network (SSN) is a program administered by Traverse City Area Public Schools that provides free supportive, education-related services and non-academic support to help overcome obstacles that may create barriers to learning for all students, ages 3-20.
What Services Are Available?
- Clothing and shoes for school purposes
- School supplies and/or backpacks
- Personal hygiene products
- General funds for extracurricular activities or interests
- Referrals to community agencies for housing/transitional living, food, medical, dental, optical care, and mental health
Holiday, Immediate, and Sustainable Needs for Students
Donations can be dropped off or mailed to 412 Webster Street, Traverse City, MI 49686, with attention: Katie Kubesh (SSN Coordinator).
Please contact Student Support Network Coordinator, Katie Kubesh at email@example.com or 231.933.1789 with inquiries, questions, or concerns. Thank you for your support towards students in transition!
2023 Holiday Giving Opportunities (tcaps.net/ssn)- to be updated 12/23
Snow pants (all sizes)
Winter Coats- youth size XS/5 to adult 3XL
Gas Cards (for school transportation use only)
Food Pantry Items
Gift Cards (for basic needs purchases)
Healthy non-perishable snacks (please avoid anything with peanuts)
Personal hygiene items
Undergarments & warm socks
*NEW items only
Hot Cocoa For a Cause
Join us Friday, December 1, 8, & 15 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. for free hot cocoa at Santa's House, located in Rotary Square. SSN will also be accepting prepackaged snacks for TCAPS students in need. Donations are not required, but greatly appreciated! A list of needed items can be found below, under "List of Items to Donate".
SSN Hockey Game & Fill the Trailer Event
Traverse City West Titan Hockey and Traverse City Central Trojan Hockey are joining forces to collect donations for TCAPS' Student Support Network (SSN)!
Trailers will be located at both schools Monday, December 2 - Wednesday, December 6, during school hours, for donations. Which side of town can bring in the most donations?!
Following the donation drive, join us for the SSN Hockey Game on Wednesday, December 6, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Howe Ice Arena! Donations will also be accepted at the game.
Are You a TCAPS Student or Parent/Guardian Experiencing a Lack of Permanent Housing?
Do You Have a Place to Sleep Tonight?
Who is Eligible for Services?
Any student who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate overnight residence (at any time during the school year) may be eligible to receive services. Students may be found living in the following situations:
- In a shelter, motel, vehicle, camper, or campground
- Temporarily sharing the housing of friends or family (“doubled-up”) due to economic hardship
- Unaccompanied youth living on their own, without a parent or guardian
- Inadequate accommodations (lack of electricity, heat, plumbing, or overcrowding)
- Abandoned buildings, or on the street
- Students who are couch surfing, staying with friends
- Displaced due to natural disaster or fire
- Assistance in maintaining school stability
- Assistance with enrollment in school and transfer of student records
- Assistance with full participation in school (extracurricular activities and sports)
- Assistance with school transportation
- College admissions support (registration, FAFSA, scholarships, etc.)
- Clothing for school purposes
- Free school breakfast and lunch
- Liaison between family and school personnel
- Personal hygiene products
- Referrals to community agencies
- School supplies and backpacks
Community Resources Quick Links
Emergency Shelter Assistance
School Rights You May Not Know You Have
If you live in any of the following situations, you may be eligible for rights and services provided by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act:
- In a shelter or on the street
- In a motel or campground
- In a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station
- Couch surfing/doubled up with other due to loss of housing, foreclosure, eviction or economic hardship
- Inadequate living accommodations (i.e. overcrowding, lack of plumbing, heating, or electricity)
- Youth living on their own, without parent or legal guardian
You also have the right to:
- Enroll in and attend school, no matter where you live or how long you have lived there
- Continue attending the same school after experiencing loss of housing, or transfer to a new school
- Receive transportation assistance, if possible
- Receive school meal programs
- Receive Title I services
School Rights Posters
Learn more about the Northwest Michigan Coalition to end youth homelessness:
Staff Contact Information by Building
Student Support Network (SSN) Coordinator
McKinney-Vento District Liaison
Regional Grant Coordinator
Foster Care Liaison
Traverse City High School
Student Support Network Specialist
Traverse City Central High School
Haley McDonald (M/W/F a.m.)
Student Support Network Specialist
Traverse City West Senior High School
Haley McDonald (T/Th/F p.m.)
Student Support Network Specialist
Traverse City East Middle School
Sara Sovis, LMSW
Traverse City West Middle School
7th Grade Counselor/Liaison
TCAPS Elementary Schools
Blair: Amanda Smith, 231.933.5753, firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Grade: Kristi Collins, 231.933.5960, email@example.com
Cherry Knoll: Mary Beth Peters, 231.933.8990, firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtade: Jill Wicksall, 231.933.5833, email@example.com
Eastern: Kendra Kearney, 231.933.5688, firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Lake: Jennifer Gresens, 231.933.7838, email@example.com
Montessori: Jill Wicksall, 231.933.6434, firstname.lastname@example.org
Silver Lake - Reilly Barth, 231.933.3663, email@example.com
Traverse Heights - Gretchen Evenhouse, 231.933.3542, firstname.lastname@example.org
Westwoods - Kristin Sulecki, 231.933.7937, email@example.com
Willow Hill: Jacqueline Glikman, 231.933.8580, firstname.lastname@example.org
Are You a Parent/Student Outside of TCAPS Experiencing a Lack of Permanent Housing?
The Northwest Michigan Student Support Network (NWMSSN)
The Northwest Michigan Student Support Network (NWMSSN), a consortium of 20 public school districts within the five-county Grand Traverse area, will address the complex needs of students who have been identified as “homeless.” District liaisons improve accountability of eligible students and provide specialized support and advocacy to ensure academic success and a successful transition to adulthood. Contact your local district liaison if you should lose your housing due to foreclosure, eviction, economic hardship, or similar reason or if you know someone who may need assistance.
- Coordinated Call Center
List of NWMSSN Consortium Districts & McKinney-Vento Liaisons
Alba Public Schools: Rich Satterlee, 231-584-2000, email@example.com
Bellaire Public Schools: Peggy Stevens, 231-533-8916, firstname.lastname@example.org
Benzie Schools: Rachel Anderson, , 231-275-7730, email@example.com
Buckley Community Schools: Rachel Odziana, 231-269-3325, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elk Rapids Public Schools: Jann Scalise, 231-264-8108, email@example.com
Excelsior District #1: Marty Guiney,231-922-6376, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forest Area Community Schools: Katie Clothier, 231-369-2867, email@example.com
Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools: Jeff Tousley, 231-352-4641, firstname.lastname@example.org
Glen Lake Community Schools: Keltie Palmer, 231-334-3061, email@example.com
Grand Traverse Academy: Mindy VanHouzen, 231-932-6960, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greenspire School: Michael Schramm, 231-421-5905, email@example.com
Kalkaska Public Schools: Jeremy Guggemos, 231-258-9167, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingsley Area Schools: Emily Ruby, 231-263-5261,email@example.com
Leelanau Montessori: Nora Goodell, 231-994-2704, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leland Public Schools: Heather Lowe,231-256-3809, email@example.com
Mancelona Public Schools: Pami Sprague, 231-587-9869, firstname.lastname@example.org
Northport Public Schools: Elizabeth Schwind, 231-386-5153, email@example.com
Northwest Education Services: Mary Guiney, 231-922-6376, firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Mission Peninsula School: Renee Kolle, 231-252-0225, email@example.com
Suttons Bay Public Schools: Jamie Hawkins, 231-735-3247, firstname.lastname@example.orgTraverse City Area Public Schools: Katie Kubesh, 231-933-1789, email@example.com
Are You a McKinney-Vento Liaison?
Would You Like to be a Donor?
Working together to reduce poverty and end homelessness through education.
Go to www.tcaps.net/donate to make a financial donation. If you have goods or services that you wish to share please contact the SSN office at 231.933.1789.
Students Share What They Need
“Thank you for all the help you have given me. My life is finally getting back on track slowly but surely. I will still probably need help with bathroom supplies.”
“In my current situation, I need help with financial education, as well as help with college applications. Thank you for checking in with me.”
“I need support. I need someone who won’t give up on me. I need extra help with classes and solid transportation to school.”
“I just need to make money and get my stuff done. I want to say thank you for letting me know where I can go when I need assistance.”
“What I need to be successful is what you do best—helping people out with personal situations.”
Common Signs of Homelessness
Some possible signs that a student may be experiencing homelessness are:
- Irregular attendance and frequent tardiness
- History of attending many different schools
- Consistent lack of preparation for class
- Sleeping in class
- Hostility and anger or extremes in behavior
- (e.g., shyness, withdrawal, nervousness, depression)
- Needy behavior (seeking attention or withdrawn behavior)
- Poor health/nutrition
- Inadequate seasonal clothing
- Poor hygiene and grooming
- Resistance to parting with personal possessions
- (e.g., leaving a favorite toy/item unattended or putting a coat in a locker)
- Multiple families at the same address
- Difficulty in reaching a parent by phone
In Michigan, adults and children in families account for 52% of the total homeless population. This number may be under reported and not include families who are doubled up or living with friends and relatives due to economic hardship.
Student Support Network FAQ
What is the Student Support Network (SSN)?
The Student Support Network (SSN) is a program administered by Traverse City Area Public Schools that provides free supportive, education-related services and non academic supports to help overcome obstacles that may create barriers to learning for all students, ages 3-20.
Why is SSN necessary?
- Over 40% of area families qualify for free and reduced meals.
- Students whose basic needs have not been met may not be ready to learn when they enter the classroom.
How does the SSN help?
- Offers immediate resolution to a barrier to learning
- Improves student achievement
- Relieves stress on staff
How does the SSN work?
- A school social worker, teacher or administrator identifies a student's need and completes a form to describe the need and urgency level.
- The district SSN Coordinator monitors and works to fulfill requests via a human service agency, community business, independent donor or directly from funds raised specifically to support the SSN.
What would my donation support?
- In the 2021-2022 school year, $19,246.66 of SSN funds supported students in need.
- Needs fulfilled included: school supplies, winter wear, shoes, clothing, bunk beds, band fees, food service assistance, grocery store gift cards, BATA passes, school photos, water bottles, snacks, toiletries, noise-canceling headphones, and more.
How do I make a monetary donation?
- Visit www.tcaps.net/donate or click on the red donate button on the home page of any TCAPS school's website.
- Complete the form. In the program description section, designate "SSN" or any other program of your choosing.
- To make an online donation by credit card, you will be taken to PayPal once you hit submit on your donation form. Follow the PayPal instructions.
- To donate by check, make payable to TCAPS, write "SSN donation" in the memo line on your check, and mail to: TCAPS, Attn: Katie Kubesh, 412 Webster St., Traverse City 49686.
List of Items to Donate
Snacks - District Wide (Please be sure to avoid anything with peanuts.)
- goldfish crackers
- fruit cups (not in syrup)
- graham crackers
- whole grain crackers
- dried fruits
- sunflower seeds
- sugar free pudding
- 100 calorie snack bags
- water bottles
- low sugar/sugar free juice boxes/pouches
High School Pantry Needs
- Cereal (individual boxes/packets)
- Cup mac n cheese
- Cup Ramen
- Peanut Butter
- Instant Rice
- Instant Pasta
- Fruit Cups
- Canned Fruit
- Ravioli/Spaghetti O's
- Beef Jerky
- Protein Bars
- Granola Bars
- Goldfish Crackers
- Hamburger/Tuna Helper
- Protein Shakes
- Frozen Burritos
- Cheese Sticks
- Hot Pockets
- Taco Kits
- Women’s Shampoo & Conditioner
Watch the YouTube video (above) titled "Pub Fostehjem: A child has nothing to eat at school." The goal of the Student Support Network is to remove these types of barriers for students to be able to fully engage in their education and be successful in school and in life.