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Children Experiencing Homelessness

McKinney-Vento Information

What does it mean to experience homelessness?

Homelessness means that you do not have a regular, fixed and adequate nighttime residence. Homeless living situations include:

  • Staying in emergency or transitional shelters. 
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of adequate housing.
  • Sharing someone else’s housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing. 
  • Sleeping in public spaces, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations or similar settings. 

What are some of the ways homelessness impacts students in school?

  • Poor or inconsistent attendance.
  • Enrolling at multiple schools due to moving frequently. 
  • Gaps in learning.
  • Inability to focus due to lack of sleep and/or lack of food.
  • Difficulty maintaining hygiene or washing clothes. 
  • Unmet dental or medical needs. 
  • Changes in behavior such as aggression, withdrawal, poor attention span
  • Changes in social interaction such as difficulty getting along with peers or adults. 
  • Unreliable transportation. 

If you are a student, or know of a student who is experiencing homlessness, we are here to help you! The McKinney-Vento Act ensures that all students are entitled to be successful in school and that all barriers to accessing education are minimized/removed. To apply for support, call your campus representative. This process must be completed EACH year. Here’s how it works:

  1. Call your campus representative and complete the referral. 
  2. The referral is reviewed by the YUHSD Student Services department  and approved/denied based on the federal McKinney-Vento criteria.
  3. Your Social Worker, Counselor or Dropout Prevention Specialist will call you and set up an appointment to set a plan for how to get your identified needs met. 

If you are a student facing homelessness, you have rights! It is important to know your rights so that you can begin to speak up for yourself! 

You have the right to...

  1. Stay enrolled in the same school, even if you move and receive transportation to that school. 
  2. Enroll in school immediately, without a parent or guardian, and without the documents schools typically need. 
  3. Receive free school meals. 
  4. Get help with getting school supplies and other necessities. 

If you would like any additional information at the state level, please visit the Arizona Office of Homeless Education. (Link “Arizona Office of Homeless Education” to the website)

Information on homelessness under The McKinney-Vento Act from SchoolHouse Connection.  

McKinney-Vento Parent Brochure

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