The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless as: an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence. Any displaced child or youth who is residing temporarily with family or friends due to economic hardship or loss of housing; or is living in a shelter, motel or campgrounds; or is couch surfing.
Children and youth in transition who fit the McKinney-Vento definition have certain rights, including:
- Immediate enrollment, even if they lack the documents needed at the time of enrollment.
- Free meals and textbooks.
- Assist with retrieval of immunization records and birth certificates.
- Transportation to and from the school of origin.
- Referrals to community resources (i.e., counseling, medical, dental and mental health referrals).
- FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) verification letters.
- Participation in before- and after-school programs.
- School uniforms and school supplies.
- Cap and gowns for graduating seniors.