The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act was signed into law in 1987. The tenets of the law provide children and youth experiencing homelessness with the following:
- Immediate enrollment even when records not present;
- Right to remain in the school of origin, if in the student's best interest;
- Transportation to the school of origin; and
- Support for academic success.
Who Are Homeless Children and Youths?
Homeless children and youths are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including:
- Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
- Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
- Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.
What Should I Do if I am Experiencing a Homeless Situation?
The Elizabeth Public Schools has a homeless liaison that can assist families in times of crisis. The Homeless Liaison can be contacted when you know you may be displaced from your home due to a financial or other hardship; the liaison will talk with you about your living situation to help determine your child’s eligibility under the McKinney-Vento Act. Your child will be provided continued enrollment in his/her current school while an eligibility determination is being made. If determined eligible, you will discuss continued enrollment in the school of origin (your child’s current school); this is ensure educational stability for your child during this difficult time. Other services, including free lunch, will be provided to all students eligible under McKinney Vento. We realize this is a very difficult time for you and your family, and we want to help you in any way that we can.
Elizabeth Public Schools District Homeless Education Liaison:Vito Mazza, Esq. Associate Counsel Elizabeth Board of Education 31 Parker Road Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Telephone: 908.436.5039 email@example.comFax: 908.436.5041 E-mail:
New Jersey Department of Education State Coordinator for Homeless Education:LaMonica McIver
Executive Director Essex Regional Educational Services Commission 369 Passaic Avenue, Fairfield, NJ 07004 Telephone: 973.405.6262 ext.246 Fax: 973.405.6668
More information can be found at the New Jersey Homeless Education website:
Links to other helpful websites:
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY): www.naehcy.org
- National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP): www.nlchp.org
- National Center for Homeless Education (HCHE): www.serve.org/nche
- U.S. Department of Education, Education for Homeless Children and Youths (EHCY) Program: www.ed.gov/programs/homeless/index.html