Homeless Students

photo of chalk drawing on an alley wall

Over 1.1 million children and youth experience homelessness each year. These children and youth face challenges that include

  • a lack of basic necessities (food, clothing, medical services)
  • discontinuity of education due to mobility
  • trauma caused by poverty and the instability of their circumstances.

Children and youth who are homeless face additional educational challenges when they have disabilities. Increasing compliance with IDEA ensures that children and youth experiencing homelessness with disabilities have access to the services they need to be successful in school and in life. Collaboration across programs can better support children and youth experiencing homelessness. 

What help is there for help families facing homelessness?

The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that gives children and youth experiencing homelessness the right to enroll in school immediately, even without documents normally required for enrollment, and to stay in one school even if they are changing residences.

Every school district has a local homeless education liaison, who must identify and serve children and youth experiencing homelessness. Michigan Department of Education homelessness webpage has information items, as well as local contacts. 

Learn more:

Watch and Learn:

from National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Looking for Your Future: How Youth Cope with Losing Their Homes, and How Your School Can Help

You Will Get Through It: How Youth Cope with Losing Their Homes, and How Your School Can Help

McKinney-Vento Liaisons: Supporting Students, Schools, and Communities

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