Students Experiencing Homelessness

Contact Information

Mrs. Dolly Lindsay, CCPS McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison
(804) 633-5088

All children and youth have the right to free,  appropriate public education

Including children and youth with:

  • Uncertain housing
  • A temporary address
  • No permanent physical address

The federal McKinney-Vento Act guarantees school enrollment for anyone who, due to a lack of housing, does not have a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence. Such children and youth may live:

  • In an emergency shelter or transitional housing,
  • In a motel, hotel, or campground due to the lack of an adequate alternative,
  • In a car, park, public place, bus or train station, or abandoned building,
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends due to loss of housing or economic hardship,
  • In these conditions and be a migratory child or youth, or
  • In these conditions and be a youth not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Children and youth living in these settings may meet the McKinneyVento definition of homelessness and have additional educational rights.

Where can a child or youth without a fixed, regular, and adequate
residence attend school?

  • The school the child or youth attended before becoming homeless or was last enrolled (school of origin), or
  • The school in the attendance area where the child or youth is currently living

How can delays be avoided when enrolling a student experiencing homelessness in school?

  • Enroll the student immediately.
  • Contact the previous school and ask that the records be sent electronically or shared over the phone.
  • Contact the principal, school counselor, or local homeless education liaison with any concerns.
  • Contact the local homeless education liaison to support unaccompanied youth when enrolling in school. 

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Project HOPE – Virginia
Education for Homeless Children and Youth
Virginia Department of Education
Coordinated by the College of William and Mary
Project HOPE Virginia Homepage