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What is the definition of homelessness under McKinney-Vento?

Under McKinney-Vento, homeless children and youth are those who “lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This definition includes:

  • Families sharing housing (doubled up) with relatives or other families due to economic hardship, loss of housing or similar reason;
  • Families living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, campgrounds or shelters;
  • Children living in places not designated for housing, such as cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or bus or train stations; or
  • Children designated as “migratory” under ESEA Title I, Part C, as reauthorized by ESSA, who meet one of the above criteria.