Homeless Assistance

Homeless Assistance

Washington State Requirements and Guidance for Education of Homeless Children and Youth


The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a 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.


Defining Homeless 
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations



If you have a student/child who may qualify for our Program's assistance and services or would like more information, please contact our Homeless Education Liaison:

Eligio Jimenez
Director of Mediation and Liaison Services
Toppenish School District
(509) 865-8182

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act was authorized by Congress, December 2001, as part of the No Child Left Behind Legislation. The purpose of the McKinney-Vento Act is to remove barriers to education for homeless/transitional students and provide educational support and stability.

Education Rights of Children and Youth Who Qualify for Services & Assistence

Our schools provide equal and comparable access to all students regardless of their home living situation. McKinney-Vento eligible children and youth have specific rights that include:

  • Maintain attendance at the school of origin-current school for the remainder of the current school year (if this is in the child's best interest and feasible) or enroll in the neighborhood school where currently residing.

  • Transportation assistance if needed.

  • Eligible for FREE food services

  • Appropriate support services and programs for which they are eligible such as: Bilingual Education, Enrichment, Migrant Program, Special Education/Children with Disabilities, Preschool Programs, Vocational Education

  • Assistance obtaining needed records and documentation

  • Academic assistance through the district's federally funded Title I program: Special Programs - Programas Especiale

  • Parent or guardian involvement in school activities