McKinney– Vento Homeless Assistance Act
If your family lives in any one of the following situations:
  • On the street 
  • In a shelter, motel, or campground
  • In an abandoned building, trailer or any inadequate accommodation
  • Doubled up, living with others because you can’t find affordable housing
Your preschool and school aged children have certain rights and protections
under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act—those rights are:
  • to go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there
  • to stay in their original or last school even though they move to another
  • to get transportation to their original school
  • to enroll immediately in a new school
  • to receive automatically free breakfast and lunch at school
  • to receive Title 1 services
  • to receive all the educational and supplemental services that all other
    children are provided
 Click here to view OSPI's Dispute Resolution Process
 The McKinney-Vento Homeless
Education Assistance Act states:
Homeless children and youth must have access
to the education and other services that such
children and youth need to ensure that children
and youth have an opportunity to meet the same
challenging state student academic achievement
standards to which all students are held. Homeless
students have the right to enroll in their
neighborhood school without records, i.e. birth
certificates, transcripts, immunization, academic
and/or evaluations for special education.
Under McKinney-Vento, homeless students
must be given the same access to education as
other students and cannot be separated from other
Local Liaison for Homeless Education:
Bryon Bahr:
State Liaison for Homeless Education:
Melinda Dyer: 360-725-6050
Community Resources
for the Homeless
Rainier Emergency Food Center
WIC (Women, Infants, Children)
DSHS Community Services Office
Medical Assistance for Children
Sea Mar Community Health Center
Dental: 360-570-8016
Medical: 360-704-2900
Yelm Office: 360-400-4800
Safe Shelter
Crisis Line
Emergency Shelter Network:
Haven House:
Child Protective Services

School’s Responsibility
  • Help students to enroll in school if needed
  • Help students obtain meals and snacks at school
  • Help to ensure that homeless students have access to all of the
     programs and services offered at school
  • Help to obtain educational and immunization records
  • Help students and families to obtain health insurance, primary care, and immunizations
    if needed
  • Help identify homeless students, including children in ECAEP and Head Start
Parents’ Responsibility
  • Make sure your child attends school regularly and completes homework and projects on
  • Attend Parent/Teacher conferences and other school related activities
  • Stay informed of school rules, regulations and consequences when students break rules
  • Participate in school decision making activities such as IEP’s, 504 plans, etc. for
    your child
    Homeless students have the right to remain in their school or origin for the duration of the school year; even if they move outside of the district.
Definition of Homelessness:
Children and youth who lack a regular adequate and fixed nighttime residence including: children who share housing with other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship; children living in emergency or transitional shelters; children living in motels, campgrounds, trailer parks, etc. as well as unaccompanied youth.
Some statistics regarding homelessness:
  • Over 3 million men, women, and children become homeless each year. The demand
    for shelters has increased annually by 14%.
  • Reported barriers by school districts that may inhibit the education of homeless
    children are domestic violence, lack of adequate housing and transportation, and lack of adequate family support systems.
  • In the 2009-2010 school year, 21,826 students were identified as homeless in Washington state.