Homeless Support Program - McKinney-Vento

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.
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