Definition of Homeless

Who is considered homeless?

Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds 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 due to lack of an adequate alternative 
  • In a car, park, public place, bus or train station, or abandoned building
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • In the above conditions and is a migratory child or youth

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.

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