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Homeless Children and Youth Resources

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

Defining Homeless
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition as: 

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park bench, etc.)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations
  • The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act requires:

  • School Districts must provide educational stability for students in temporary and transitional housing situations.
  • School Districts must provide immediate access to school for students in temporary and transitional housing situations.
  • School Districts must appoint a liaison for students in temporary and transitional housing situations.
  • School Districts must serve student in temporary and transitional housing situations with Title I Funds.
  • Educational Rights of Students in Temporary or Transitional Housing Situations:

  • The right the stay in their school (school of origin), even if they move out of the school district.  Students can remain in their school until the end of the school year even if they find permanent housing.
  • The right to immediate school enrollment and full participation in all school activities for eligible students, without proof of residency, immunization records, or other medical records, school records, or other documents.
  • The right to get transportation to their school of origin provided or arranged by the school district, or a joint effort between school districts.
  • The right to attend school district pre-school programs.
  • The right to access to all school services including free school meals, services for English language learners, special education, Title I services, vocational/technical education, gifted and talented services, and before and after-school care, as needed.
  • The right to have disagreements over enrollment with the school settled quickly, and attend the school the student selects while the disagreement is being settled.
  • The right to the same opportunity to meet the same high academic standards as all students. 
  • For more information, contact your child's school counselor or Kim Lefler at 509-559-4532 or email