Education is Essential.

Education, from early childhood through post-secondary, gives children and  youth the tools to end their homelessness and achieve their dreams.

Grassroots Approach

Changes must be rooted in the realities of local communities.

Prevention must be a priority.

We will not solve adult homelessness until the complex realities and comprehensive needs of children and youth take a front seat in policy and practice.

Youth Leadership

Young people are the experts on their experiences and needs.

Child and Youth Development

The developmental needs of children and youth must be central to all advocacy, program design, outcome measures, and policy.



Act by April 3: Protect Federal Funding for Homeless Children and Youth 

The President’s FY2018 “skinny budget” proposes significant cuts in domestic funding. A bi-partisan Dear Colleague letter requesting support for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program is being circulated now, with a deadline of April 3 for Members of Congress to sign-on.

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ESSA PowerPoint Training Template

Baseball’s spring training may be wrapping up, but schools’ spring trainings are just getting underway. With that in mind, we are pleased to share our new ESSA PowerPoint template. All are welcome to download, edit and use this template, which includes the latest guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, new research, a pop quiz, an interactive exercise, sound clips from youth, and new resources.

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Does ESSA speak to the “immediate enrollment” of preschool children (as long as openings exist), similar to what is required for K-12 students? In my state, both state and federally funded preschool programs are required to be licensed by the state and must follow licensing guidelines which require documentation that our families experiencing homelessness often do not have in their immediate possession.

Answer: The short answer is yes, the McKinney-Vento Act requirements for immediate enrollment do apply to preschool programs that are administered by the SEA or LEAs. The guidance from the U.S. Department of Education states the following: “N-4. Do McKinney-Vento Act...
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A homeless unaccompanied youth who receives special education services is residing with her grandmother. The parent does not want the grandmother to make any educational decisions, but the school does not think the parent is the best decision maker, since she has no communication at all with the student. I want to make sure we are following the student and parental rights as outlined in McKinney-Vento as well as the IDEA.

Answer: The mother retains her rights under IDEA even while the daughter is living somewhere else and they are not in touch. Unless a court intervenes to restrict the mother’s rights (which is extremely unlikely at this point), she remains the mother legally. If the...
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If a student is identified in a district as McKinney-Vento, and during the same school year, is placed in foster care, does that student still receive McKinney-Vento services for the entire year, which would include transportation? Since McKinney-Vento services are provided for the entire school year, does the McKinney-Vento identification supersede the foster care identification?

Answer: No. In light of the new ED guidance that came out on March 3, the foster care identification essentially supersedes the McKinney-Vento identification in this situation.  The new guidance specifies that if a student qualified as “homeless” due to awaiting...
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A family has been evicted from a home. Nonetheless, they continue living in said home after eviction notice and court order. The family now essentially is “squatting” in the residence. Does that make them McKinney-Vento?

Answer: Yes. Based on this information, the family is eligible. The family has no right to be where they are staying, and in fact it isn’t legal for them to be there - they could be forcibly removed at any time. It also seems likely that under these circumstances...
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We had a family living in an apartment complex that is being torn down for a highway. The housing authority allowed them to stay until they found a new place and assisted them with the move. The family found a new place in another district.  Are they McKinney-Vento eligible?

Answer: If the family moved from one fixed, regular, and adequate residence directly to another fixed, regular, and adequate residence – without a period of homelessness in between – then they would not be considered McKinney-Vento. However, as you consider where the...
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Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2014-15 school year, public schools identified more than 1.2 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require at least a Bachelor’s degree. A college degree is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.


Robust community partnerships, including housing, health care, nutrition, transportation, and other services, provide essential supports for children and youth to grow and thrive.

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