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    Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness


    Who Is Homeless? - Federal Guidelines

    According to the Federal Guideline on the Definition of Homelessness, the following applies: 

    • Children in foster care should not be considered homeless.

    • Children who have been placed by the state in transitional or emergency shelters should be considered homeless if the placement is of a transitional nature.

    • Children who are runaways should be considered homeless.

    • Children who are "throwaway children" should be considered homeless.

    • All abandoned children are homeless until a fixed, regular, and adequate residence is obtained.

    • Some children who live with friends or relatives should be considered homeless, depending on their reasons for living with the friends or relatives, and the permanence of the living arrangements.

    • Children who are living in families that are doubled-up or tripled-up with other families can be considered homeless, depending on the specific circumstances.

    • The children of migrant workers may be homeless if they meet the McKinney definition; however, many children who qualify for migrant services reside in a fixed, regular, and adequate residence and should not be considered homeless.
    For more information contact the National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE at http://www.serve.org/nche.

    Homelessness and the Law

    The McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77) was passed by Congress in 1987 to aid homeless persons.  It was reauthorized on July 1, 2002 under the No Child Left Behind Act.

    For more information, contact the National Law Center at www.nlchp.org.