McKinney-Vento Help for Families: Eligibility and Support
Homeless means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and
(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;*
(ii) 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 (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
If your family lives:
- in an emergency shelter or transitional shelter
- in a motel, hotel, or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation
- in a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
- doubled-up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship
- in a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
- Migratory children living in the above circumstances
- Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances
Then, your child might be able to receive help through a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act.
Unaccompanied homeless youth are ensured the same educational rights that the McKinney-Vento Act provides for other homeless students.
Your McKinney-Vento eligible children 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; or continue attending the school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference. (*If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.)
- receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.
- receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs.