The McKinney-Vento Act, the federal law that establishes the rights and entitlements of homeless youth, covers children and youth who don’t have a fixed, adequate and regular nighttime residence, such as those living:
Students in temporary housing have the right to:
- with friends or relatives due to loss of housing or economic hardship (aka doubled up or couch surfing);
- in a motel, hotel, or campground;
- in emergency or transitional shelters;
- in temporary situations while awaiting foster care placement or abandoned in hospitals;
- in a public or private place not designed or ordinarily used for, regular sleeping accommodations;
- in a car, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or other similar settings;
- in temporary housing and not with their legal parents or guardians (Unaccompanied Youth).
- Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there;
- Choose to attend either the local school or the school of origin, if feasible and in their best interest;
- Get free transportation to and from the school of origin, if it is requested;
- Enroll in and attend school immediately, without proper documentation, (ex. Birth certificate, proof of residence, previous school records, or immunization/medical records) or even without a parent or proof of legal guardian;
- Have access to the same programs and services that are available to all other students, including transportation, extracurricular activities and supplemental educational services;
- Get free school meals without an application.