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Homeless Definition

Who Is Homeless?

Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act defines homelessness as living in the following places due to a lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

  • In an emergency or transitional shelter
  • In a motel, hotel, or campground
  • In a car, park, public place, bus or train station, or abandoned building
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends
  • In the above conditions and is a migratory child or youth
  • Further descriptions of nighttime residence

This definition of homelessness applies to children and youth with:

  • Uncertain housing
  • A temporary address
  • No permanent physical address

Children and youth living in these settings meet criteria for the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness and have special educational rights.

Where can a child or youth without a fixed, regular, and adequate residence attend school?

  • The school the child or youth attended before becoming homeless or was last enrolled (school of origin)
    The school in the attendance area where the child or youth is currently living

How can delays be avoided when enrolling a student experiencing homelessness in school?

  • Enroll the student immediately
  • Contact the previous school and ask that the records be sent electronically or shared over the phone
  • Contact the principal, school counselor, or local homeless education liaison with any concerns
  • Contact the local homeless education liaison to support unaccompanied youth when enrolling in school

For more information on enrollment and services for students experiencing homelessness, contact or the local homeless education liaison for your school division.

Local Homeless Education Liasion

Roanoke County Public Schools
Dr. Jessica M. McClung
Director of Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services
5937 Cove Road, NW
Roanoke, VA 24019
Work:  540-562-3900 X 10181
Fax:  540-562-3984

Project Hope State Representative

Dr. Patricia A. Popp
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
757-221-4002/Toll Free:  877-455-3412
TDD:  757-221-2302/Fax:  757-221-2988