Homeless Information

Homeless Education Support and Services

Children experiencing homelessness need a stable, safe, supportive environment.  Schools offer consistent educational experiences, teachers, and friends during this transitional time.  Maintaining these school ties supports academic achievement, physical health, emotional resiliency, and learning of vital skills to escape poverty.

Who is considered homeless?
According to federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001 - Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act, Section 725, the tern "homeless children and youth" means:

  • individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and
  • includes...

    • children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parts, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care replacement;
    • children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
    • children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
    • migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses 1 through 3.

What is a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence?
Fixed means that the residence is stationary or permanent.  A regular residence is one which is used on a regular nightly basis.  Adequate refers to a residence that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in a home environment.

What is an unaccompanied youth?
Children who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian or could be running away from home even if their parents desire for the youth to return home.

What age does McKinney-Vento Act cover?
This act applies to children and youth age 21 and under, but generally provides access to all students until high school graduation or equivalent, or until age 18.

Does a student, who has been classified as homeless, pay for their meals at school?
Homeless students are elegible for free meals at school.  A free lunch application should be completed during the registration process.  The homeless liaison will contact food services to assure that the meals are marked as free.

Resources
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
National Center for Homeless Education
National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty