Federal law, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (MV, for short), ensures that students experiencing homelessness have a full and equal access to public education. With the nature of the Michigan economy, more of our students and their families have been facing homelessness in recent years. Children and youth who lack a fixed, adequate nighttime residence may qualify for assistance under MV. While we may think of homelessness by how it is portrayed in TV/movies, such as people living under overpasses or in boxes on urban street corners, the reality is that number of homeless students/families is steadily growing in Livingston County.
Examples of situations that may qualify a student as homeless under MV and make them eligible for services include:
- a family who loses their home for economic reasons and needs to move in with grandparents or other family members
- a parent who flees the home with the children due to domestic violence and moves in with a friend
- a high school student who leaves home because of a family dispute and is “couch-surfing”, i.e. staying with various friends over various nights
- a student who locates to The Connection, the teen shelter in Howell
- a student who is awaiting foster care placement, they qualify as homeless under MV.
- a family who experiences a house fire and must relocate for six months while the house is repaired
If a student qualifies as “homeless” under MV, they are entitled to:
- enroll in school with or without the usual requirements of a birth certificate, immunization record, previous school records, proof of residency, etc.
- stay in their current school (school of origin) if feasible and in their best interest
- transportation to their school of origin, when appropriate
- free breakfast/lunch
- academic support through federal Title I grant if falling behind academically
- other support as needed/appropriate
The goal of MV is to keep students in school and provide as normal a learning environment as possible. We strive to provide support to our students and families who may be enduring some difficult situations. If a student or family is experiencing a situation that may qualify under MV, please contact your building Student & Family Specialist, Building Administrator, or Brian Higgins, District MV Liaison (810)225-3900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most information is also available through the following links: