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McKinney-Vento Homeless

Posted: Thu, 09/29/2011 - 4:43pm Updated: Mon, 06/08/2015 - 11:09am

Grant Announcement 2014

All school corporations are invited to submit an application for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Grant. Funds are available to school corporations on a competitive basis for programs that will facilitate the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youth in school. Funds may be used to develop or maintain programs that meet the unique needs of homeless children and youth in collaboration with at least one community agency. For more information, please see the 2014 McKinney-Vento Homeless Grant Memo and the 2014 McKinney-Vento Grant Application.


McKinney-Vento Act: Sub-Grant Overview and Review Process
Webcast live on April 28th, 2014 from 10:00-10:30am EDT.



The Challenge

The challenge of providing an education for homeless students is growing. Over 1.35 million children experience homelessness each year*; in Indiana, almost 17,000 school aged children experience homelessness each year. People who do not have their own home are highly mobile, moving as many as 12 times as often as their permanently housed peers. In addition, domestic violence touches as many as 63% of homeless parents+. The instability that homeless children experience as they move frequently between the homes of family or friends and shelters makes it difficult for children and youth to have a place to do homework or even attend school at all. To further complicate things, students can have a difficult time enrolling in school due to a lack of records such as immunization or birth records, school transcripts, or a lack of a permanent address. Children who experience delays or absences often fall behind quickly, making their education more challenging.

After receiving reports that up to 50% of homeless children were not attending school, Congress established the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The McKinney-Vento Act was created with the goal of ensuring the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youth in school. It provides states with funding to help remove barriers to education.

Children and youth experiencing homelessness find shelter in a variety of places. To help educators identify homeless children, the Act defines who is considered homeless. According to the U.S. Department of Education, people living in the following situations are considered homeless:

  • Doubled up with family or friends due to economic conditions;
  • Living in motels and hotels for lack of other suitable housing;
  • Runaway and "Throwaway" children and youth;
  • Homes for unwed or expectant mothers for lack of a place to live;
  • Homeless and domestic violence shelters;
  • Transitional housing programs;
  • The streets;
  • Abandoned buildings;
  • Public places not meant for housing;
  • Cars, trailers, and campgrounds;
  • Awaiting foster care; or
  • Migratory children staying in housing not fit for habitation.

*Burt, M. & Laudan, A. (2000). America’s Homeless II: Populations and Services. The Urban Institute.

+Stern, L. & Nunez, R. (1999). Homeless in America: A Children’s Story. The Institute for Children and Poverty: New York.

Requirements for Schools

The McKinney-Vento Act provides certain rights for homeless students. They include waiving certain requirements such as proof of residency when students are enrolling and allowing categorical eligibility for certain services, such as free textbooks. The Act also states:

  • Homeless students may attend their school of origin or the school where they are temporarily residing;
  • Homeless students must be provided a written statement of their rights when they enroll and at least two times per year;
  • Homeless students may enroll without school, medical, or similar records;
  • Homeless students have a right to transportation to school;
  • Students must be provided a statement explaining why they are denied any service or enrollment;
  • Students must receive services, such as transportation, while disputes are being settled;
  • Students are automatically eligible for Title I services;
  • School districts must reserve a portion of Title IA funds to serve homeless students;
  • School districts must review and revise policies that provide barriers to homeless students;
  • Schools must post information in the community regarding the rights of homeless students, in schools and other places that homeless families may frequent; and
  • School districts must identify a McKinney-Vento Liaison to assist students.

Click Here to find your liaison. (updated 07/03/2014)

Quick Links


Julie Smart
Program Coordinator for School Social Work and McKinney-Vento Education Coordinator
South Tower, Suite 600
115 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 234-4827