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Housing Instability Support

McKinney-Vento Program

The McKinney-Vento Act is federal legislation that has been in effect since 1987 to support children and youth experiencing housing instability. The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youth as those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The act ensures children and youth who are experiencing housing instability are immediately enrolled in school without delay and provided the support needed to be successful in school. 

Students living in any of the following situations may be entitled to additional support:

  • 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

Unaccompanied Youth

  • The McKinney-Vento Act defines unaccompanied youth as “a child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian that is experiencing housing instability”. 
  • The McKinney-Vento Act includes no program-specific age requirements to qualify as an unaccompanied youth.
  • Can enroll in school without a parent/guardian.
  • Unaccompanied youth are eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act regardless of the circumstances that led to their separation from family; this includes youth who ran away from home, and youth who were forced from the home by their families.

Students living in unstable housing situations have the right to: 

  • Continue at the school they attended (referred to as the school of origin) before they became eligible for McKinney-Vento services, or the school in which they were last enrolled.
  • Get help with school enrollment, even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence.
  • Get transportation to and from their school of origin.
  • Free school meals.
  • Receive help with school fees including field trips, physical education fees, lab fees and other school fees.
  • Receive help obtaining extra academic supports and school supplies.
  • Get help connecting to social service agencies in the community.

Contact Us 

Below you will find a list of resources and contact information for the District and for the building liaisons who can assist with questions and information.  If you have any questions regarding our policy, please feel free to contact our District Liaison, Lorraine Landon, at 509-543-6714.