Education Assistance for Children and Youth with Unstable Housing (McKinney-Vento)

When a family or student loses their housing, the school can provide assistance like clothing, school supplies, academic support, and connections to social services.

Learn more about McKinney-Vento

Contact your local coordinator for assistance if you are:

  • Staying in someone else’s home because you lost your home, cannot afford your own home, or had to leave your home.

  • Staying in a hotel or motel.

  • Sleeping in a car, park, campground, or public place.

  • Staying in a trailer or other housing that is very overcrowded or does not have electricity, running water, or other basic services.

  • Staying at an emergency or transitional shelter.

If you are a student staying in one of those situations without your parents or guardians, your local coordinator  can help you, too.

If I don't have stable housing, where will my child go to school?

A parent or student has the right to decide, along with the school, whether it is in the best interest of the student to:

  • Stay in the same school they attended before losing their housing or the school in which they were last enrolled (this is the “school of origin”); or

  • Transfer to the school that is closest to their new location.

What is in the “best interest” of a student; to stay in the same school or change schools?

Usually, it is best for a student to stay in the same school, especially if that is what the parent or student prefers. However, the decision also takes into consideration factors such as:

  • Special needs of the child

  • Time of the school year

  • Likely length of stay in your new place of residence

  • Location

If I don't have stable housing, what documents do I need to enroll my child in school?

If you do not have school enrollment documents, your child cannot be denied entry. Your child must be enrolled in school immediately, while the school helps obtain any needed documents. Youth who are not with their parents or guardians also must be enrolled in school immediately.

Can my child ride the school bus?

The school district must provide transportation to and from the school of origin. You cannot be denied access to the school that is in the best interest of your child because of lack of transportation.

Can my child access other programs and services at school?

Yes. Your child has the same rights to school programs and services as all children, including:

  • Full Participation in Sports and Clubs

  • School Breakfast & Lunch

  • Before/After School Programs

  • Preschool Programs

  • Special Education

  • Gifted and Talented Programs

  • Career & Technology Education

Contact / Contacto (se habla español):

Patricia Julianelle
State Homeless Education Coordinator
Division of Student Support and Federal Programs

Office: (410) 767-5153
Cell: (410) 916-5123