McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance


Through the McKinney-Vento Act children who are homeless have certain rights and protections to enable them to continue with their education while homeless. If your family lives in any of the following situations, you may qualify for rights provided by McKinney-Vento:

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

    • (ii) 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;

    • (iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

    • (iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Through McKinney-Vento, your children have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where you live or how long you have lived there. You must be given access to the same public education including preschool education provided to other children.

  • Continue in the school your children attended—or the school they last attended— before you became homeless, if it in their best interest.

  • Receive transportation to the school they attended —or the school they last attended— before your family became homeless, if you or a guardian request such transportation.

  • Attend a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Children cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.

  • Enroll in school without giving a permanent address. Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay school enrollment.

  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.

  • Enroll and attend classes in the school of your choice even while the school and you seek to resolve any dispute over enrolling your children.

  • Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children served in these programs.

Need Assistance?

  • Contact Kristin Soderback, District Liaison, at 360-978-4111 or Email Kristin Soberback

  • Contact Melinda Dyer, State Coordinator, at 360-725-6505 or Email Melinda Dyer

  • Call the National Center for Homeless Education at the toll-free Help Line number: 1-800-308-2145

Online Resources

WA Apple Health for Kids: Free or low-cost health care for kids. A family of four with an income up to $4,417 a month may be eligible.

Lewis County Housing Authority: A variety of support services for people experiencing homelessness or assistance with housing.

National Center for Homeless Education: Supporting the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Resource Guide for Relatives as Parents: Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Washington Basic Food Program: Help for low-income individuals and families to obtain a more nutritious diet by supplementing their income with basic food benefits.

Washington State Dept. of Early Learning: You may qualify for short-term free child care.

Washington State 2-1-1 Network: 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember phone number for people to call for health and human service information and referrals and other assistance to meet their needs. You can call 2-1-1 for information on "Safe Parking" for those of you forced to live in your car. Local area churches are opening their parking lots for you and providing volunteer patrols for your safety overnight. Please call 2-1-1 for more information.

Student Housing Questionnaire: Determine what services a student may be eligible to receive.

Cuestionario de Vivienda Estudiantil: Determinar qué servicios puede ser elegible para recibir un estudiante.