Who is homeless?
In 1987, Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to aid homeless persons. The Act defines the term “homeless children and youths” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was enacted amending McKinney-Vento.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Basic Education Circular - Education for Homeless Youth further provides categories of children who are homeless and entitled to the protections of the federal law. These categories include (but are not limited to) students who are:
Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reasons;
Living in motels, hotels or campgrounds or are unsheltered due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
Unaccompanied homeless youth who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian
Rights of homeless students:
Students classified as homeless under McKinney-Vento are entitled to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths free from barriers that many homeless students face. Homeless students have a right to attend their school or origin or school of their current residence.
For more information, please visit one of the below resources:
Education for Homeless Youth BEC
Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
National Center for Homeless Resources
Cumberland County Homeless Assistance Program
If you feel that you and your family qualify for assistance under the McKinney-Vento Act, please contact: