Homelessness and temporary housing

If your housing is uncertain or unstable, students have education rights and can receive supports and services under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001.

What is the McKinney-Vento Act?

The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that provides educational rights and protections for children who are residing in temporary housing. Students have the right to immediate enrollment even if documents that are normally required are not available, such as birth certificates, school records, immunization records or proof of residency.

Under McKinney-Vento and state law, students are considered to be in temporary housing if their nighttime residence is not fixed, regular and adequate.

  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or other similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled up)
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds
  • Living in a shelter
  • Living a in public or private place not designed for sleeping
  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, etc.
  • Migratory living in circumstances described above

Need assistance?

If you are currently experiencing homelessness or temporary housing, and need assistance, please contact:

Selina Graham

McKinney-Vento Liaison

NYSTEACHS resources

NYSTEACHS is a New York State Education Department-funded organization that provides information, referrals and trainings to schools, school districts, social service providers, parents and others about the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness in New York State.

NYSTEACHS website

NYSTEACHS Uncertain Housing brochure (English)

NYSTEACHS Uncertain Housing brochure (Spanish)

NYSTEACHS Tips for parents and guardians (English)

NYSTEACHS Tips for parents and guardians (Spanish)