If you are a parent or student and have lost your housing due financial hardship, domestic violence, or other circumstances out of your control and you are now living in a shelter, with family or friends, in a hotel, or other temporary and unstable locations you may qualify for benefits through a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act seeks to ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths. For families experiencing housing instability, North Kingstown School Department Homeless Services, seeks to help ensure that school remains a place of support and stability.
Families who do not have a Fixed, Regular, and Adequate Nighttime Residence may qualify for additional support through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act. Is your family:
Doubled up with another family due to loss of housing or economic hardship;
Living in a motel, hotel, trailer park or camp ground;
Living in a car, park, public place, abandoned building or similar setting;
Are you living in one of the above situations and you are a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian (unaccompanied youth)
Your Rights Under McKinney Vento
All School Districts are required to have an advocate to support the immediate enrollment of homeless children and to support their full participation in school. The Homeless Liaison in North Kingstown is Lydia Hanhardt. She can assist with access to:
Free Lunch and Breakfast;
FAFSA Documentation for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth;
Other student needs to facilitate full participation in school.
Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to request attendance at their school of choice. This means families can request:
immediate enrollment in the district where they are currently residing. A permanent address is not needed to enroll in school and a child cannot be denied school enrollment just because school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.
continued enrollment in the school where they were last enrolled or attended when they became homeless (school of origin). Schools must assist with transportation needs to the school of origin when requested by the family and determined to be in the best interest of the student.
Schools must provide a written explanation in the case of a dispute over school placement.
Homeless Services Questions: