Definition/Who Is Homeless

Supporting the Success of Homeless Children and Youths (EHCY Fact Sheet)

Research and data, including surveys of homeless and formerly homeless youths, indicate that experiencing homelessness can have significant negative impacts on children academically, socially, and emotionally. The Education for Homeless Children and Youths (EHCY) program, authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), is designed to address the needs of homeless children and youths… Read more »

Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Homeless Students

McKinney-Vento Law Into Practice Brief Series
Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Homeless Students

Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (reauthorized under Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act) guarantees rights and services for homeless students, including specific supports for unaccompanied homeless youth. This brief describes the challenges unaccompanied homeless youth face, explains key provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act, and suggests proven strategies from across the country for supporting the educational
success of this vulnerable population.

Who Is Homeless?

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Subtitle B—Education for Homeless Children and Youth), reauthorized in January 2002, ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. This brief explains the legislation and offers strategies for implementing it in a school district.

Determining Eligibility for Rights and Services Under the McKinney-Vento Act

Best Practices in Homeless Education Brief Series
Determining Eligibility for Rights and Services Under the McKinney-Vento Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines “homeless children and youths” as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” However, because the circumstances of homelessness vary with each family’s or unaccompanied youth’s situation, determining the extent to which the family or youth fits the definition must occur on a case-by-case basis. Enrollment staff and/or the local homeless education liaison must gather and analyze information from the family or youth and make an appropriate determination of eligibility. Expeditious determination of eligibility and immediate school enrollment are critical to the child’s educational continuity.

This tool is designed to assist school and school district staff in applying the definition to individual children and youth to determine eligibility for rights and services under the McKinney-Vento Act.

Educating Homeless Children and Youth: The Guide To Their Rights

Lawyers Working To End Homelessness

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) is the only national legal advocacy organization dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness. Our attorneys go into courtrooms and the halls of our leg- islatures to protect the needs of society’s most vulnerable members.

Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education we ad- dress the root causes of homelessness at the local, state, and national levels.

Despite McKinney-Vento, homeless children and youth sometimes need help enrolling and participating in school. Various individuals can, and should, step forward to provide assistance. Parents, relatives, family friends, school and school district personnel, shelter providers, youth program workers, social workers, advocates, and the students themselves can all play a role in helping young people get an education. If you are such a person, this booklet will get you started.