Children Experiencing Homelessness
What does it mean to experience homelessness?
Homelessness means that you do not have a regular, fixed and adequate nighttime residence. Homeless living situations include:
- Staying in emergency or transitional shelters.
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of adequate housing.
- Sharing someone else’s housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing.
- Sleeping in public spaces, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations or similar settings.
What are some of the ways homelessness impacts students in school?
- Poor or inconsistent attendance.
- Enrolling at multiple schools due to moving frequently.
- Gaps in learning.
- Inability to focus due to lack of sleep and/or lack of food.
- Difficulty maintaining hygiene or washing clothes.
- Unmet dental or medical needs.
- Changes in behavior such as aggression, withdrawal, poor attention span
- Changes in social interaction such as difficulty getting along with peers or adults.
- Unreliable transportation.
If you are a student, or know of a student who is experiencing homlessness, we are here to help you! The McKinney-Vento Act ensures that all students are entitled to be successful in school and that all barriers to accessing education are minimized/removed. To apply for support, call your campus representative. This process must be completed EACH year. Here’s how it works:
- Call your campus representative and complete the referral.
- The referral is reviewed by the YUHSD Student Services department and approved/denied based on the federal McKinney-Vento criteria.
- Your Social Worker, Counselor or Dropout Prevention Specialist will call you and set up an appointment to set a plan for how to get your identified needs met.
If you are a student facing homelessness, you have rights! It is important to know your rights so that you can begin to speak up for yourself!
You have the right to...
- Stay enrolled in the same school, even if you move and receive transportation to that school.
- Enroll in school immediately, without a parent or guardian, and without the documents schools typically need.
- Receive free school meals.
- Get help with getting school supplies and other necessities.
If you would like any additional information at the state level, please visit the Arizona Office of Homeless Education. https://www.azed.gov/homeless/ (Link “Arizona Office of Homeless Education” to the website)
Information on homelessness under The McKinney-Vento Act from SchoolHouse Connection.