Homeless Assistance Act

Homeless/Transitional Housing Assistance:  McKinney-Vento

Highland School District is committed to providing a quality public education for all its students.   The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment, equal access to educational opportunities, and educational stability for homeless children and youth. 

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.” The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

·         Children sharing housing (doubling up with relatives or friends) due to economic hardship or loss of housing

·         Children living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations

·         Children living in emergency or transitional shelters

·         Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)

·         Children living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations

We know that living in any one of the above situations can be extremely stressful.  The Highland School District has a McKinney-Vento coordinator who is available to assist families with immediate school enrollment, to help connect families with local resources, to ensure students receive free breakfast and lunch, and to encourage students to become involved in school by participating in sports, clubs, activities, and/or after school tutoring.  Financial help is available for sports/school fees, school supplies, and other essential items as the need arises.  Any student who becomes homeless during the school year and moves to a neighboring school district has the right to continue their education at Highland, if it is determined to be in their best interest.  Highland and the neighboring school district would work together to provide transportation, free of charge to the student.  Contact Rebecca Kok, Highland’s McKinney-Vento coordinator, at 678-8793 or rkok@highland.wednet.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

RESOURCES     The attached is a community resource guide for the Yakima Valley that includes listings for housing, food banks, medical/dental/mental health clinics, and many more.  Calling 2-1-1 is also a great social service resource that anyone can call and talk to a person that can give guidance and information as to which local agency would be the most helpful for the specific need in question; this service is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

image of a house

Community Resource Guide McKinney Vento.pdf