• McKinney-Vento Introduction

    Children and youth experiencing homelessness face unique challenges in accessing and succeeding in school. Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.; hereafter the McKinney-Vento Act), establishes the definition of homeless used by U.S. public schools, and the educational rights to which children and youth experiencing homelessness are entitled. For schools to be able to provide services to students in homeless situations, they first must be able to identify these students. To this end, an effective understanding of the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless is a key first step to ensuring the delivery of needed supports to some of our nation’s most vulnerable students.

    McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless

    1. The term “homeless children and youth”— 
      1. means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and 
      2. includes — 
        1. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals; 
        2. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings…; 
        3. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 
        4. migratory children…who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).