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Student Services » McKinney-Vento Homeless Act

McKinney-Vento Homeless Act

The McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless:

Section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Act defines "homeless children and youths" as individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.


The term includes

  • Children and youths who are:

    • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as "doubled-up")

    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

    • Living in emergency or transitional shelters; or

    • Abandoned in hospitals;

  • Children and youths who have a primary residence that is 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 because they are living in circumstances described above.


Rights of Parents and Unaccompanied Youth

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.

  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.

  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.

  • Enroll in the local school near where they're living or continue attending th school or origin (the school the child attended when permanently housed or in which the child was last, enrolled) if that is your preference and is in the child's best interest.  If the school district believes the school you select is not in the best interest of your child, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and offer you the opportunity to appeal its decision.

  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth.

  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student's need.