McKinney-Vento Homeless Program

Homeless children and youth often have problems enrolling and participating in school. As a result, Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987; Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; reauthorized by Title X, Part C of ESEA.

Our mission is to identify and support homeless youth so that each student is able to participate in the learning environment. Each student identified as McKinney-Vento eligible will have access to all resources available in the Detroit Public Schools, which enables the student to achieve academically, socially, and in the best interest of the child.

In compliance with federal law (McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 ‐Pub. L. 100‐77, July 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 482, 42 U.S.C. § 11301 et seq.) it is the policy of the Detroit Public Schools to provide a free and appropriate education for all children as defined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Homeless children and youth must be given full opportunity to meet state and local academic achievement standards.

The Detroit Public Schools will ensure that homeless children and youth are free from discrimination, segregation and harassment because of their homeless status.

The major tenets of the McKinney-Vento Act are:

  • Immediate School access (Removal of Barriers to Enrollment)
  • School stability
  • Support for academic success
  • Child-centered, best interest decision making
  • Critical role of the local homeless education liaison

Definition of the Term “Homeless Children and Youth”

The term “homeless children and youth” is defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as:

  • Children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
  • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of others, with or without their parents, due to loss of housing (doubled up).
  • Children living in motels or hotels or trailer home due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
  • Children living in emergency or transitional shelters.
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
  • Unaccompanied youth includes youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
  • Migratory children and youth who are living in a situation described above.
  • Children awaiting foster care placement.

For more information please see our Education of Homeless Children and Youth Policy.