Evergreen Program



ReferralGPS is working with the Regional Office of Education to create access to mental health treatment for McKinney Vento students. This is a pilot program, the intent is to help as many students as possible, funded by a grant.

All area schools located in Area 1 are eligible to participate in this program, which include the following counties (McHenry, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Suburban Cook, Kendall, Grundy, and Will).

How to start a referral for the Evergreen program

  1. Verify the student is eligible or enrolled in the McKinney Vento Program.

  2. Click this link to submit information about the case.

  3. The ReferralGPS team will search for appropriate treatment and email you or contact the parent/guardian directly with options.

Districts interested in partnering with ReferralGPS can learn more information about our services here or contact the team at info@referralgps.com


ReferralGPS is utilizing grant funding to create access to mental health treatment for students with housing insecurity. Schools throughout the Chicagoland region are eligible to participate. Your participation as a clinician/practice is entirely voluntary and discretionary. Without notice, you or the program can decide to discontinue participation in the network.

All treatment sessions will be paid from a grant utilizing multiple funding sources. By participating in this program, you agree patients/families will have no financial obligation and treatment sessions will be billed in full to the Regional Office of Education (using the links below). For more questions, please reach out to amit@referralgps.com



The Evergreen Program is a grant funded program to help students eligible or enrolled in the McKinney Vento program to have access to mental health treatment, with no cost to the family.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that works to ensure educational stability for youth experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Act defines eligibility as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”

Examples of children who fall under this definition include:

  • Children sharing housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing

  • Children living in “motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations”

  • Children living in “emergency or transitional shelters”

  • Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)

  • Children living in “cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations…”

To determine if your child is eligible or receive a referral, reach out to your child’s school social worker or counselor. Every district has a McKinney Vento liaison, that person could also be helpful in this process.

In Phase 1 of this program, sessions will be offered in person and telehealth. If the student is unable to attend a telehealth/virtual treatment session due to device access, a device can be provided for sessions to take place.

The Referral Process

Student need identified

School staff verifies enrollment or eligibility

School staff utilizes ReferralGPS to find available resources

School staff provides resources to parent/guardian

Private practice treats the student

Private practice recieves prior authorization from Regional Office of Education

Private practice schedules the treatment session

Parent/Guardian contacts private practice to make appointment

Private practice submits billing to the Regional Office of Education

Private practice receives payment from Regional Office of Education


The Evergreen Pilot program is structured as 100% no cost to parents or students. The entire cost of the treatment is paid for with grant funding from various funding sources.

During the pilot, most sessions will be conducted via telehealth during the school day, there are grant funds to provide devices to individual schools and to families if sessions are needed outside of school hours, for more information, please contact us at info@referralgps.com.

Eight initial visits are granted upon initial authorization by the Regional Office of Education. Prior to the last visit, if in the clinician’s judgement, more sessions are clinically warranted, they can request additional sessions.

The grant is specific to provide treatment for McKinney Vento students, however, parents/guardians are eligible for treatment services if the session pertains to the student.

The initial focus of the Evergreen pilot is providing funding and facilitation of outpatient therapy and outpatient psychiatry treatment. Additional hospital-based care will be evaluated in future phases of the grant.

To recommend a clinician and/or practice to participate in the Evergreen program, encourage them to fill out this form.

The school district will work with the parent/guardian and the outpatient clinician to capture consent. It is important to note according to Illinois Public Act 100-0196, students age 12 or older may request and receive psychotherapy on an outpatient basis for up to eight 90-minute treatment sessions without parent/guardian consent, and potentially additional treatment if certain criteria are met. The text of the public act (Public Act 100-0196) can be found here For additional questions about this, please contact mhanafee@willcountyillinois.com.

It’s like an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), except instead of employees, we’re helping create access to mental health for youth experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. Unlike EAPs, the rates are competitive with commercial insurance, paid for by grant funding. It’s a no brainer, no commitment, nothing to lose to participate.

The only Protected Health Information (PHI) expected to be shared will be during the initial Treatment Authorization and at the time of payment. Information requested will be limited to student name, date of birth, and dates of service.

No show appointments will be reimbursed (2x per client, at which point the practice should discharge the patient with notification to the Regional Office of Education).