McKinney-Vento Act & Definition of Homelessness

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children or unaccompanied youth as lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, which include:
  • Doubled up with friends or relatives due to loss of housing.
  • Children living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, and camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations.
  • Children living in emergency or transitional shelters.
  • Children who are awaiting foster care.
  • Children living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations. 
The McKinney-Vento Act ensures that children can:
  • Students can attend the school they last attended before they became homeless (school of origin) or students may be enrolled in their neighborhood school.
  • Right to immediate enrollment in school even if they lack required documents, such as school records, immunization records, or proof of residence.
  • Right to free transportation to school of origin when feasible.
  • Free nutrition at school.
  • Assistance in obtaining school supplies, help with school fees, and assistance in connecting to social service supports.
To access McKinney-Vento services, you may call your child’s school or call the McKinney-Vento Office at 206.631.3256. 
Please visit our Homelessness & Education program to learn more.