Homeless Students (McKinney-Vento Act)

  • The federal McKinney-Vento Act guarantees school enrollment for anyone who, due to a lack of housing, does not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

    Who is considered homeless?

    Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (P.L. 114-95) defines homelessness as living in the following places due to lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence

    • In an emergency or transitional shelter
    • In a motel, hotel, or campground
    • In a car, park, public place, bus or train station, or abandoned building
    • Doubled up with relatives or friends
    • In the above conditions, it is a migratory child or youth

    The definition of homelessness applies to children and youth with:

    • Uncertain housing
    • A temporary address
    • No permanent physical address

    Children and young people living in these settings meet the criteria for the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness and have special educational rights. They can attend the school they attended before becoming homeless, or the school in the attendance area where they are currently living.

    To avoid delays when enrolling a student experiencing homelessness:

    • Enroll students immediately
    • Contact the previous school and ask that the records be sent electronically or shared over the phone.
    • Contact the principal, school counselor, or local homeless education liaison with any concerns
    • Contact the local homeless education liaison to support unaccompanied youth when enrolling in school

    If you are in one of the above-mentioned situations, please obtain a Proof Of Residency form letter from any school or from the School Administrative Offices (100 N. Main St., Suffolk 23434), fill it out and return it to the same office.

    Project Hope  


    Project Hope-Virginia is Virginia's Program for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. The College of William and Mary administers the program for the Virginia Department of Education. Funding is authorized under McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (P.L. 114-95).  

    Suffolk Public Schools Division Contact:
    Randolph Boone
    Coordinator of Student Services
    (757) 925-6750