Special Services » Homeless Assistance

Homeless Assistance

Need Assistance?
Call the National Center for Homeless Education at the toll-free Help Line number: 1-800-308-2145


McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001

Through the McKinney-Vento Act, children who are homeless have certain rights and protections to enable them to continue with their education while homeless.

If your family lives in any of the following situations, you may qualify for rights provided by McKinney-Vento:

  • In a shelter, motel, vehicle or campground
  • On the street
  • In an abandoned building, trailer, or other inadequate accommodations
  • Doubled up with friends or relatives because you cannot find or afford housing


Through McKinney-Vento, your children (pre-school through high school) have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where you live or how long you have lived there. You must be given access to the same public education—including preschool education— provided to other children
  • Continue in the school your children attended—or the school they last attended— before you became homeless, if that is your choice and if feasible. If a school sends your child to a school other than the one you request, the school must provide you with a written explanation and offer you the right to appeal the decision.
  • Receive transportation to the school they attended —or the school they last attended— before your family became homeless if you or a guardian request such transportation.
  • Attend a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Children cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
  • Enroll in school without giving a permanent address. Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay school enrollment.
  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.
  • Enroll and attend classes in the school of your choice even while the school and you seek to resolve any dispute over enrolling your children.
  • Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children served in these programs.
  • Receive transportation to school and to school programs.

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