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McKinney-Vento: Homeless Assistance Act

What is McKinney-Vento, exactly?

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a homeless assistance program and federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

For more information on the National Center for Homeless Education and McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, visit the website for the National Center for Homeless Education.

A student is eligible for McKinney-Vento assistance because of:

  • Temporary homelessness due to hardship
  • Housing that is substandard or considered inadequate
  • Being considered an unaccompanied youth, which refers to a minor not in the custody of a parent or guardian.

Eligible Students have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where or how long they have lived in the area
  • Be given the same access to public education as other students, including pre-K.
  • Continue their education in school of origin or residence
  • Be transported to their original school, if living outside of their school's attendance borders
  • Attend and participate in programs at their school with other students
  • Enroll in school without having a permanent address
  • Attend classes while the school arranges for required enrollment documents (immunization records, etc.)
  • Participate in the same special programs and services provided to all other students in the same programs   
  • Receive Title I services, including free breakfast and lunch all school year, and 30 days into the next school year. 

Automatically eligible families do not have to fill out any paperwork.

Services Provided:

  • Homeless, Neglected, and Delinquent Services
  • Clothing, Uniforms, Undergarments, and Shoes
  • Backpacks, School Supplies, Extracurricular/Elective Fees, and Cap and Gown for graduation
  • Toiletries/ Hygiene Kits
  • Transportation
  • Food Services (including services at the Food Pantries at the Wakefield and Southwest Family Resource Centers)

Helping Teens on their Own

Learn about homeless teens in Pima County and find out what you can do to identify them and assist them. Tucson Unified partners with Youth On Their Own (YOTO) to bring this critical issue to light.

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