Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) program was established to make sure homeless youth have access to a free and appropriate public education while removing barriers that homeless children face. Its goal is to have the educational process continue as uninterrupted as possible while the children are in homeless situations. Schools are required to enroll any unaccompanied youth who fits the definition of homelessness.
Definition of Homelessness
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless children and youths as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. However, because the circumstances of homelessness vary with each family’s or unaccompanied youth’s situation, determining the extent to which the family or youth fits the definition must be applied on a case-by case basis by the district's Homeless Liaison. If a student is in a temporary living situation, he/she may be able to remain in their current school district. *Families who share adequate housing on a long-term basis due to preference or convenience are not covered by the McKinney-Vento Act.
A family or student may be considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento definition if they are in any of these places or situations:
• Public or private shelters
• Public or private places not designated for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations such as
vehicles, parks, motels, campgrounds, etc.
• Living with a parent in a domestic violence shelter
• Families who move in with others as a result of an emergency related to job loss, reduction in work hours
or pay, unexpected medical bills, natural disaster, or domestic violence.
• Living in transitional housing programs
• Runaway children (under age 18) and children who have been abandoned or forced out of their home
by parents or other caretakers (unaccompanied youth).
Resources Available to Students Identified as Homeless
• Immediate Enrollment
• Free School Meals
• Assistance with enrollment documents
• Assistance setting up school transportation
• Assistance with basic school supplies
Per the federal law, every school district must assign a person (a liaison) to ensure that students experiencing homelessness are identified, enrolled and able to succeed in school. The liaison is responsible for identification of McKinney-Vento eligible students and supporting the needs of these students.
Saucon Valley School District Homeless Liaison
Dr. Craig Butler, Superintendent
For more information on Homeless Education in PA visit the PA ECYEH website