Who Are the Homeless?
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law passed nearly 14 years ago to help people experiencing homelessness. Part of the law protects the rights of children and youth who are homeless, enabling them to go to school. According to the McKinney-Vento Act the term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and also includes:
(a) children and youth 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 or are awaiting foster care placement.
(b) children and youth 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.
(c) children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; and
(d) migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.