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Students » McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

What is the definition of “homeless” from the McKinney-Vento Act and who qualifies?


The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” Children who qualify would be:


(a) Children sharing housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing;


(b) Children living in "motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations"


(c) Children living in "emergency or transitional shelters"


(d) Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)


(e) Children living in "cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations...”



Parent/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Rights:


(a)  Receive a free, appropriate, public education.


(b) Enroll in school immediately, while the school arranges for the transfer of student records required for enrollment.


(c) Continue attending the school of origin (the school the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled).


(d) Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested by the parent or guardian, or by the local liaison on behalf of an unaccompanied youth


(e) Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to each student’s need.



Data regarding McKinney-Vento students in North Carolina public schools can be found here:


For more information on the McKinney-Vento Act please contact:

Sherida Stevens Charlotte Choice Charter Homeless Liaison


Lisa Phillips
State Coordinator
NC Homeless Education Program