McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

In January of 2002, Congress authorized the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to help people experiencing homelessness. The federal law includes the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program that entitles children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence to a free, appropriate education and requires schools to remove barriers to their enrollment, attendance and success in school. The McKinney-Vento Program meets the needs of homeless students attending Roanoke Rapids City Schools by addressing academic challenges and family issues affecting their success in school.

Example living situations that may qualify include, but are not limited to:

Living with a friend, relative or other person/family because of a loss of housing

Staying in a motel or hotel because of a loss of housing or fleeing domestic violence

Living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing or domestic violence shelter

Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station

Living temporarily in substandard housing

Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home

Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter; run away youth

Youth living on their own, even if their families want them to come home

Information for Parents(PDF)

Unaccompanied Youth Definition:

The McKinney-Vento Program also meets the needs of "a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian" (42 USC §11434a(6), 2001). Youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and lacking a fixed, regular and adequate residence are referred to as unaccompanied homeless youth. Youth who run away are also eligible for services even if the parent/guardian/caregiver wishes the student to return home. Some reasons a youth may be on his/her own include, but is not limited to, family dysfunction, parental neglect and abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, or substance), incarceration, illness and deportation. Runaway youth and unaccompanied homeless youth are eligible to be enrolled immediately without a legal guardian. Under the McKinney-Vento Program, there is no age limit for an unaccompanied homeless or runaway youth as long as the student is eligible for K-12 public education in NC. Schools must immediately alert the School McKinney-Vento Liaison or the District McKinney-Vento Liaison if presented with a possible runaway or unaccompanied homeless youth.

The provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act supercede any state law or local policy that may conflict with this act.

Requesting Services

Services provided include immediate enrollment, school selection promoting stability, nutrition and academic support. McKinney-Vento services are provided for the duration of a school year and do not automatically renew. If you have any questions about requesting services please see any counselor or community outreach liaison at your school.

McKinney Vento Act Services and Rights

Identified Students

2021-2022 - 71

2020-2021 - 47

2019-2020 - 84

Contact Information

Sara Council

District McKinney-Vento Liaison (


Lisa Phillips

State Coordinator

NC Homeless Education Program (

PO Box 5367
Greensboro, NC 27435

Dispute Policy