Who are Homeless Children and Youth?
Before schools can be certain they are complying with legislation related to
educating students experiencing homelessness, they must understand who
can be considered homeless. The McKinney-Vento Act (Section 725) defines
“homeless children and youth” (school-age and younger) as:
• Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
residence, including children and youth who are:
* Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing,
economic hardship, or a similar reason.
* Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due
to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
* Living in emergency or transitional shelters.
*Abandoned in hospitals.
* Awaiting foster care placement.
• Children and youth 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.
• Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned
buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar
• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in
circumstances described above.
• The term unaccompanied youth includes a youth not in the physical
custody of a parent or guardian. This would include runaways living
in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the streets, or in
other inadequate housing; children and youth denied housing by their
families (sometimes referred to “throwaway children and youth”); and
school-age unwed mothers living in homes for unwed mothers because
they have no other housing available.
In determining whether or not a child or youth is homeless, consider the
relative permanence of the living arrangements. Determinations of homelessness
should be made on a case-by-case basis.
If you have questions:
Please Contact The District Homeless Liaison: Mary Hall at 618-632-6336.