Homeless Assistance Program

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Act provides certain rights for homeless students. They include waiving certain requirements such as proof of residency when students are enrolling and allowing categorical eligibility for certain services, such as meals and textbooks. The Act also states:

  • Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.)
  • Reauthorized in 2001 by Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act
  • Establishes the definition of homeless used by schools
  • Ensures children and youth experiencing homelessness have immediate and equal access to public education
  • Provides for educational access, stability, and support to promote school success
  • Needed to address the unique barriers faced by many homeless students
  • Homeless students may attend their school of origin or the school where they are temporarily residing
  • Homeless students must be provided a written statement of their rights when they enroll and at least two times per year

Who is Homeless?

Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence:

  • “Doubled up” – Sharing the housing of others due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds, due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live
  • Migratory children living in above circumstances
  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • Unaccompanied Youth – Children or youth who meet the definition of homeless and not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian

Residency and Educational Rights

Students who are in temporary, inadequate and homeless living situations have the following rights:

  • Immediate enrollment in the school they last attended or the school in whose attendance area they are currently staying even if they do not have all the documents normally required at the time of enrollment;
  • Access to free meals and textbooks, Title I and other educational programs and other comparable services including transportation;
  • Attendance in the same classes and activities which students in other living situations also participate in without fear of being separated or treated differently due to their housing situations.

State and Federal Resource Directory



Dr. Chase Huotari
District McKinney-Vento Liaison


Flora Jones
Director of Student Pathways & Opportunities and Charie Gibson, Homeless Education Specialist