McKinney-Vento Act: a federal act for children who are homeless

  • Who is covered by the McKinney-Vento Act?

    Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including those:

    • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, and camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
    • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
    • Abandoned in hospitals
    • Awaiting foster care placement
    • Living in a public or private place not designed for sleeping
    • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, etc.


    Homeless students have certain protections:

    • They can choose to remain in their current school even if they have moved to a different district
    • They can immediately enroll in school without the paperwork normally required for enrollment
    • They are eligible for transportation to the school they designate
    • They automatically qualify for free breakfast and lunch and do not have to complete the application, but need to see the homeless liaison.