Homeless Support Program

  • The Homeless Support Program serves homeless students enrolled in Sunnnyside School District.  Services are provided through existing programs and strategies that integrate homeless individuals with non-homeless individuals.  This program is designed to reduce isolation, maximize stability and maintain consistency for this population of children and youth.  The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that guarantees all children and youth the right to an equal education regardless of their living situation.  Protection under the McKinney-Vento Act extends to those who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.

    Homeless Support Program Coordinator:

    Lorenzo Garza
    Homeless Liaison
    509.836.8716
    lorenzo.garza@sunnysideschools.org 

     

    Defining Homeless

    The McKinney- Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence."  The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

    • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
    • Children and youth living in motels, hotels trailer parks or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
    • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
    • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
    • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park bench, etc)
    • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
    • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations.

     All homeless students have the right to:

    • School stability – remain at their “school of origin”
    • Immediate enrollment – even without required registration documents
    • Transportation – to “school of origin”
    • Free school meals – all homeless students automatically qualify

    Contact a Homeless Program Coordinator to determine if your child is McKinney-Vento eligible and/or to request services.

     

    State Homeless Resources

    National Homeless Resources

    • NAEHCY – National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth is a voice and social conscience for the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.  NAEHCY accomplishes this through advocacy, partnerships, and education.
    • NCHE – National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education.
    • National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty – Lawyers working to end homelessness.
    • National Network for Youth – is working to create a community of agencies, people and resources to champion the needs of homeless and runaway youth, to ensure that opportunities for growth and development be available to youth everywhere.