Programs & Services

McKinney-Vento Homeless Children & Youth

Homeless Students Definitions & Rights

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The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that makes sure children and youth who do not have permanent housing can go to school and preschool. It gives children and youth rights to enroll in school, stay in school, get transportation to/from school, and access to school lunch programs.

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition: Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason

  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

If you become aware of students who may qualify for services under the McKinney-Vento Act or are in need of services for students in your family, please contact Hayley Mason at 360-495-3205,

McKinney-Vento Student Rights & Resources