McKinney Vento - Homeless

Each District in our Nine County Region should have an appointed Homeless Education Liaison. ROE #20 and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Program provides training for District Level Homeless Liaisons to help identify, enroll, and ensure that homeless students receive the same educational support services that non-homeless students receive. Information is provided regarding laws that insure the educational rights of children living in homeless situations. Assistance with clothing, school supplies and a variety of other resources is provided when necessary.

The role of education in the life of a homeless child is crucial. In a life that is filled with uncertainty, school is a place of safety. Something as simple as a desk to call his/her own can provide a homeless child with a sense of routine and ownership. A free, appropriate, public education is also a right to which homeless children and youth are legally entitled. This right put into practice has the potential to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness that may otherwise continue. For a homeless child, the importance of a stable, quality education is immeasurable.

Who is Homeless:

The term “homeless children and youth” as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act;

Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and includes—

  • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters or are abandoned in hospitals

  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings

  • Children and youths who are living in a cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus/train stations, or similar settings,

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above

McKinney-Vento Rights:

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act ensures the educational rights and protections of homeless children and youth so that they may enroll in school, attend regularly, and be successful. The legislation requires a local homeless education liaison in every school district to assist children and unaccompanied youth in their efforts to attend school. This act guarantees homeless children and youth the following:

  • The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.

  • The right to attend school in his/her school of origin (if this is requested by the parent and is reasonable) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing

  • The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin, if this is requested by the parent.

  • The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.

  • The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness.

For additional information or for resources to help students and families, contact :

Shannon Henson, Homeless Liaison/Coordinator:

618-841-5404 (cell) or 618-382-5223 opt 2 (Carmi Office)

Darlene Waier, SEL Family & Student Liaison:

618-382-5223 opt 2 (Carmi Office)