What is the McKinney Vento Program?

The McKinney-Vento Act provides rights and services to children and youth experiencing homelessness, which includes those who are: sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; staying in motels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to the lack of an adequate alternative; staying in shelters or transitional housing; or sleeping in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or similar settings.

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, every local educational agency is required to designate a liaison for homeless children and youth.


  • Transportation to and from school (if applicable)

  • Enrollment advocacy

  • School supplies, uniforms, books

  • Tutoring and counseling

  • Referrals for clothes and food

  • Hygiene items

  • Housing assistance referrals

  • Medical and dental vouchers (when available)

  • Birth certificate referrals

  • Cap and gown fee


A student or family that lives:

  • doubled-up with friends or relatives on a temporary basis

  • in a park, motel or campground

  • in a shelter

  • in a vehicle

  • on a street

  • as a runaway


  • Attend their school of origin (known as the “home school”) or the school for the area where the student currently lives.

  • Immediately enroll in school without providing documents, including proof of residency.

    • (Schools MUST permit you to enroll, even if you do not have these documents.)

They have 30 days to provide the following:

  • Birth certificates

    • Immunization records

    • Physicals (as needed)

    • Notarized forms

  • Free lunch beginning first day

  • Transportation to and from school (if applicable)

  • Participate in tutoring and other school-related activities

  • Referrals for uniforms, medical aid and food assistance

how to help

  • Donate school supplies, gift cards, hygiene products, clothing, etc.

  • Provide financial assistance to pay for housing, cap and gown fees, etc.

  • Set-up fundraising events

Contact McKinney-Vento staff for more information.

For more information regarding McKinney Vento Federal Law and Policies, please click here.


Jess Reling