McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act / Homeless

Tyrrell County Public Schools

McKinney-Vento

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 USC §§11431-11435, 2001) is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. It defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
Children and youth awaiting foster care placement
Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)
Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations


An unaccompanied homeless youth is a youth who meets the definitions of unaccompanied youth and homeless included in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The Act defines unaccompanied youth as, “a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian” (42 USC §11434a(6), 2001). This means that the youth is not living with a parent or guardian, and includes youth who are residing with a caregiver who does not have legal guardianship and youth who are living on their own.

The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to enroll homeless children and youth immediately, even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence. The act ensures that homeless children and youth have transportation to and from their school of origin if it is in the child's or youth's best interest.

Local school districts must designate a homeless liaison to ensure that homeless children and youth are identified and served. The liaison must provide information to homeless families and facilitate access to school services including transportation. School districts are also required to track their homeless students and report that data annually to the State and Federal Government.

For additional information concerning the educational rights of homeless children and youth, Please consult Tyrrell County Board of Education Policy # 4125 or contact our Homeless Liaison:

Susan Smith 

1107 Hwy 64 E

Columbia, NC

252-796-1121

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