National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)

If your family is experiencing a loss of housing, the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program may be able to help.


  • In a shelter
  • In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation
  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
  • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship

Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.

Definitions of Homelessness:

  • Homeless Doubled Up (Student sharing housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship)
  • Homeless Hotels/Motels (Student living in hotels and motels for lack of housing.)
  • Homeless Shelters or Transitional Housing (Student living in emergency, domestic violence, or transitional shelter)
  • Homeless Unsheltered (Student living in campgrounds, trailer parks, cars, parks, public spaces, temporary trailers, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus and train stations for lack of housing)
  • Unaccompanied Youth ( A student that is not in the physical custody of the parent or legal guardian and also qualifies for McKinney/Vento. This includes students considered "couch Surfers".)

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.

District McKinney Vento Liaison
Cierra Miller

IDOE State Coordinator
Chaire Gibson

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