What You Should Know About McKinney Vento, A Program To Help Children Who Are Experiencing Homelessness

IDEA Public Schools would like to make families aware of the McKinney-Vento Act to support our family’s social-emotional learning and ensure everyone has the resources they need.

What is considered an individual experiencing homelessness?

Under the McKinney- Vento Act, “homelessness” is defined as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and/or adequate nighttime residence.”

  • Fixed– Permanent, Stationary
  • Regular– Used on a Regular or Nightly basis
  • Adequate– Meets both Physical AND Psychological Needs Typically Met in Home Environments that are used on a “regular/nightly basis”

Can include but are not limited to:

  • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason. ​
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations. ​
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters; or abandoned in hospitals​.
  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.​
  • Migratory who qualify as homeless.

To help inform families and youth about their educational rights, SchoolHouse Connection developed three public service announcements and helpful resource links aimed at reaching youth and families.

To learn more, click on these resource links.

  1. A PSA from Sesame Street Workshop with a message from Elmo for parents and children experiencing homelessness.
  2. A PSA aimed at educators and community members to engage them in efforts to identify and assist families and youth experiencing homelessness.
  3. A PSA aimed specifically at youth experiencing homelessness (whether they are with family or not) – narrated by Dez, a youth with lived experience.


For more information, contact your campus and speak to the School Counselor, Student Success Advisor and/or Social Worker.

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