Homelessness can be broken down into four categories: Chronic, Eposodic, Transitional, and Hidden.

Definition of Homeless

Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (per Title IX, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act) defines homeless as follows:
The term "homeless children and youths"--
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and

(B) includes--
(i) 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;*

(ii) 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 (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Educational Rights and Supporting Youth Experiencing Homelessness

  • McKinney-Vento Act requires youth experiencing homelessness must be immediately enrolled with or without academic and non-academic student information/records, e.g. health, residency, special education, or guardianship
  • McKinney-Vento supports youth experiencing homelessness with, clothing, transportations, dues/fees to participate in clubs/after-school activities, and other situational academic needs
  • Establish and maintain multiple modes of communication and access to students, phone/text, email, face-to-face, trusted classmate, community based/out-of-school organizations, and other adults/teachers
  • Statewide collaboration – State Education Agency (SEA), Local Education Agency (LEA), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), and homeless advocates meet, share information, inform/collaborate on policies and procedures, support/develop leadership opportunities for students, destigmatize homelessness, and other efforts that proactively address youth homelessness
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret academic and non-academic data to inform proactive planning, strategies, and policies to maximize current, and build new, systems of support for youth experiencing homelessness 

For information on the McKinney-Vento program please click the link below:
McKinney-Vento- Students in Transition Program