McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act - Federal Definition Of Homelessness

General Information

The following definition of “homeless” is given in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act – Sec 725):
The term “homeless children and youth” –

  1. Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and
  2. Includes
    1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
    2. 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…
    3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
    4. Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (1) through (3).
    5. Unaccompanied youth (emancipated) includes youth in a homeless situation who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.