Defining Homeless Children
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" and includes children and youth who have a nighttime residence that is any of the following:
- In "doubled-up" situations, staying in the home of another person, relatives or friends, due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, parks, or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Living in emergency, temporary or transitional shelters
- Have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings, such as living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar setting
- Youth not residing with legal parent or guardian in one of the above situations
This also includes youth from 18 through 21 years of age who may still be eligible for educational services in regular or special education who find themselves in the above housing situations.