Homeless Assistance Act

Who Are Homeless Children and Youths?

Homeless children and youths are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nightime residence, including:

  • children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are 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 a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

  • children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

  • migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.

Educational Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there.

  • Continue in the school they last attended before becoming homeless or the school they last attended, if that is the parent's or guardian's choice and is feasible.

  • Receive transportation to the school they last attended before their family became homeless or the school they last attended, if a parent or guardian requests such transportation.

  • Attend school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless.

  • Enroll in school without giving a permanent address.

  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.

  • 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 comparable to that provided to children who are not homeless.

These rights are established under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The McKinney-Vento Act was originally authorized in 1987 and re-authorized in December 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). For more information on parent/youth rights please click here and the NCHEP website

Homeless Liason contact information at The North Carolina Leadership Academy

Kimberly Stanley

State Coordinator

Lisa Phillips