The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act states that a child or youth is considered homeless if he or she “lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”



    • Temporarily live with relatives or friends because they have nowhere else to go (typically due to  financial constraints). This is also referred to as being “doubled up.”
    • Live in shelters or transitional housing (Salvation Army, Family Care Center, First Steps).
    • Live in motels, abandoned buildings, cars, tents, or on the streets.
    • Run away, leave, or are thrown out of their parent’s/guardian’s home (unaccompanied youth).
    • Live in housing not fit for habitation (i.e., lack of electricity or water for an extended period of time).



    • Be immediately enrolled in school without a permanent address.
    • Continue in the school that the student attended before becoming homeless or be enrolled in the local school where they are living, depending on their best interest.
    • Go to school, no matter where the student lives or how long he/she has lived there.
    • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of required school records or documents.
    • Enroll and attend classes even while the school and parent seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment.
    • Receive transportation to his/her school of origin as long as he/she is homeless, or if the student becomes permanently housed, receive transportation until the end of the academic school year as long as it is in the child’s best interest.
    • Participate in tutoring, school-related activities, and/or receive other support services.
    • Receive free school meals.


    If you believe your children may be eligible, contact the local liaison for Catawba County Schools, Maria Ballard, Maria_Ballard@catawbaschools.net at (828) 464-8333, extension 180434 to find out what services and supports may be available.
    For more information about McKinney Vento Act visit North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP) at https://hepnc.uncg.edu.  For statewide information, contact Lisa Phillips, State Coordinator at lphillip@serve.org.