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Definition of Homeless Children & Youth

On November 29, 1990, President Bush signed into law the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (P.L. 101-645). This Act insures the right of homeless children/youth to enroll in school and receive all services available to any other students. Children/youth are considered "homeless" if they fit one of the following five criteria:

Family or Child/Youth is:

  1. Living in a shelter or welfare motel
  2. Living in campgrounds, cars, abandoned buildings, etc.
  3. Living in substandard housing (no heat, no indoor plumbing, no running water, no furniture, no means of cooking or storing food, holes in floor/walls, etc.)
  4. Doubled/tripled-up (living with friends or relatives temporarily or because family has been evicted or cannot maintain a home of their own)
  5. Runaway youth (teens living with friends because they have been forced from or have run away from home)