MCKINNEY VENTO HOMELESS ACT: It could happen at any time, but currently due to the booming economy and lack of affordable housing in Williston, more area families are finding themselves living in temporary situations. According to the federal McKinney Vento Act, when a student “lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence”, whether it’s living in a camper, at a campground, at a hotel or doubled up with friends or family due to economic hardship or similar reasons, they are considered homeless. These students in transition, from preschool through high school, including unaccompanied youth, may face unique barriers when it comes to education. The McKinney Vento Act was designed to address these issues and all school districts are required to designate a liaison to serve these students.
In compliance with this federal law and state requirements, WPSD #1 has a written “Students in Transition” policy and employs a Homeless Liaison to work directly with these students. The main goal is to ensure that even though their living situation is temporary, these students encounter no barriers to a free, public education. The three key provisions of the McKinney Vento Act, school access, school stability, and support for academic success are the framework for providing services. Services are designed to eliminate or minimize any barriers a family may face in their efforts to keep their student enrolled, attending and fully participating in school at every level. It is also meant to connect these students and/or families with existing community resources to assist them in areas outside of education.
Your Rights if You Live in a Temporary Situation: McKinney-Vento is a federal law designed to remove barriers to education created by homelessness and provide for the educational rights of students in transition. McKinney Vento services may be provided to children and youth who lack a permanent, regular, adequate, fixed night time residence and instead live in any of the following situations due to economic hardship, loss of housing or similar reason:
• Living “doubled up” with relatives or friends due to economic hardship, loss of housing or a similar situation
• In an emergency or transitional shelter
• In a motel, hotel, RV park or campground due to lack of alternative housing
• In a car, park, abandoned building, camper, bus/train station, substandard housing
• Moving from one place to another (“couch surfing”)
• Awaiting foster care placement
If you believe your children may be eligible, contact:
Allison Stensland, Homeless Liason
701-609-7673 or 701-572-6532 ext 2420