The McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless

Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (per Title IX, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act) defines homeless as follows:

The term "homeless children and youths" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and includes:

*Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;* 

*Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));

*Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 

*Migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

*Receive a free, appropriate public education.

*Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment, or having missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness.

*Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.

*Enroll in the local attendance area school or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is the preference of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth. If the school district believes the school selected is not in the student's best interest, then the district must provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its position and inform him/her of the right to appeal its decision.

*Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested by the parent, guardian, or local liaison on behalf of an unaccompanied youth.

*Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student's need.


NCHE Parent Brochure English  Spanish

NCHE McKinney-Vento Introductory Brief - Outlines law, who qualifies, rights, etc.

Total number of homeless children and youth in RCSS:

2021-2022: 256
2020-2021: 192
2019-2020: 222
2018-2019: 285

National Center for Homeless Education's "North Carolina" webpage 

North Carolina Homeless Education Program "About" Webpage


For more information, please contact Erin Robertson, Student Services Coordinator and McKinney-Vento Liaison, at 336.633.5122 or 

North Carolina Homeless Education Program 336-315-7491