McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program is authorized under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) (McKinney-Vento Act).  The McKinney-Vento Act was originally authorized in 1987 and re-authorized on December 10, 2016 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The McKinney-Vento Act is designed to address the challenges that homeless and youth have faced in enrolling, attending and succeeding in school.

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, State educational agencies (SEAs) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth.  Homeless children and youth must have access to the educational and related services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging State academic standards to which all students are held.  In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment.  SEAs and local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to review and undertake steps to revise laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youth.

Definition of Homeless (McKinney-Vento Act Sec. 725(2); 42 U.S.C. 11435(2))

Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence:

  • “Double up” - Sharing the housing of others due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons.

  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds, due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations.

  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters.

  • Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live.

  • Migratory children living in above circumstances.

  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.

  • Unaccompanied Youth - Children or youth who meets the definition of homeless and are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

Homeless Students' Rights

The McKinney Vento Act provides for and outlines specific rights  homeless students are entitled to.  These rights include waiving certain requirements such as proof of  residency when students are enrolling and allowing categorical  eligibility for certain services. Students who are in temporary, inadequate and homeless living situations have the following rights in the Southwest School Corporation:

  • Immediate enrollment in the school they last attended or the school in whose attendance area they are currently staying even if they do not have all the documents normally required at the time of enrollment;

  • Access to free meals and textbooks, Title I and other educational programs and other comparable services including transportation;

  • Attendance in the same classes and activities that students in other living situations also participate in without fear of being separated or treated differently due to their housing situations.

To see the full list: Homeless Students' Rights

In transition? Unstable housing situation? The Southwest School Corporation will connect you with resources to keep your child's academic success on track.

Parents or guardians complete the initial McKinney-Vento Housing form at enrollment. In the event that a student's housing situation changes or becomes unstable, a parent or guardian may contact the SWSC Homeless Liaison or their child's school counselor or principal. We want to ensure that every student has the same access to all educational opportunities, regardless of their housing situation.

Local Contacts

SWSC McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison

  • Terri Roberts

  • 1502 N Section St, Sullivan, IN 47882


  • 812-268-4000, ext. 2208 (Office)

SES School Counselor

  • Dani Hamilton


  • 812-268-3341, ext. 2529

SMS School Counselor

  • Krista Wells


  • 812-268-4000, ext. 2207

SHS School Counseling Director

  • Dave Lisman


  • 812-268-6301, ext. 2109

SHS School Counselor

  • Katie Couch


  • 812-268-6301, ext. 2110

State Contacts

IDOE Director of Student Pathways & Opportunities

  • Flora Jones


  • 317-232-0957

IDOE Homeless Education Specialist

  • Charie Gibson


  • 317-232-0957

Directory of State and Federal Resources

IDOE: McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program

Homeless Youth Regional Program

Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention

National Center for Homeless Education: School Help for Homeless Children with Disabilities

National Association for the Education of Children and Youth (NAEHCY)

NAEHCY McKinney-Vento FAQs

School House Connection

McKinney-Vento Parent Guide

McKinney-Vento Resource Guide #2