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Youth Homelessness

Homeless Assistance - McKinney Vento

Youth who are experiencing homelessness have special rights under a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act.  Students qualify for its protections if they have no consistent, appropriate place to stay.  This includes youth who are "doubled up" with other youth or families due to economic hardship; living in a car, motel, hotel, camping grounds, or sleeping outdoors or in a public place; or living in a shelter.  The law protects youth who have run away from home, been thrown out of their home, been abandoned by parents or guardians, or seperated from their parents for any other reason.  These youth are called "unaccompanied homeless youth."  Homeless students have two options for where to attend school: the school they were attending when they became homeless or the school where they are currently staying.  If you have questions concerning homeless students or need additional information, please feel free to reach out to your school counselor or contact the District Homeless Liaison (Melissa Calderon)

What is the McKinney Vento Act? 

The term “homeless children and youth”—

1. means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence...; and

2.  Includes:


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...;

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 who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the
children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student
Succeeds Act, (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.; hereafter the McKinney-Vento Act) guarantees rights
and services to remove educational barriers for homeless children and youths. This brief
explains the Act’s provisions related to the transportation of children and youth experiencing
homelessness, and suggests strategies for implementation. Briefs on additional homeless
education topics are available at https:// nche.ed.gov/briefs.php.