Housing Instability Student Support
The McKinney-Vento Act is federal legislation that has been in effect since 1987 to support children and youth experiencing housing instability. The McKinney-Vento Act defines children and youth as those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The act ensures children and youth who are experiencing housing instability are immediately enrolled in school without delay and provided the support needed to be successful in school.
Students living in any of the following situations may be entitled to additional support:
- Hotels, motels, cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations.
- Transitional housing, emergency or domestic violence shelters.
- Doubled up with other families or relatives due to loss of housing or affordable housing.
- Without the support or in the physical custody of parents/guardians (Unaccompanied Youth).
- The McKinney-Vento Act defines unaccompanied youth as “a child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian that is experiencing housing instability”.
- The McKinney-Vento Act includes no program-specific age requirements to qualify as an unaccompanied youth.
- Can enroll in school without a parent/guardian.
- Unaccompanied youth are eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act regardless of the circumstances that led to their separation from family; this includes youth who ran away from home, and youth who were forced from the home by their families (https://nche.ed.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/youth.pdf)
STUDENTS LIVING IN UNSTABLE HOUSING SITUATIONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
- Continue at the school they attended (referred to as the school of origin) before they became eligible for McKinney-Vento services, or the school in which they were last enrolled.
- Get help with school enrollment, even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence.
- Get transportation to and from their school of origin.
- Free school meals.
- Get help with school fees including field trips, physical education fees, lab fees and other school fees.
- Get help obtaining extra academic supports and school supplies.
- Get help connecting to social service agencies in the community.
Enrollment Rights & Services
To access services, please speak with the school counselor or McKinney-Vento building designee. If they are unavailable, please contact the McKinney-Vento Family Support Liaison Antonio Lewis at 206-631-3256. You may also fill out the student housing questionnaire and return to your student's school.