• Hope Office

    Homeless Outreach, Prevention and Education

    Supporting our McKinney-Vento Eligible Students


    Children and youth staying in shelters, hotels, or other temporary situations, have certain rights to ensure access to public education.


    Anoka-Hennepin schools is guided by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These federal laws provide students experiencing homelessness access to opportunities that will help them to fully participate in school.

  • How is homelessness defined?

    Under the McKinney-Vento Act, homelessness is defined as the lack of a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; this includes individuals who:

    • temporarily live in a hotel, motel, trailer park or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station; live in other public or private spaces not designed to accommodate regular sleeping for humans;
    • live in an emergency shelter or transitional housing;
    • have been abandoned in hospitals;
    • temporarily share housing with another household due to loss of housing or economic hardship;
    • are migratory and live in any of the circumstances described above;
    • are considered unaccompanied youth, i.e. not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and live in any of the circumstances described above.


    How does McKinney-Vento protect students?

    Educational stability

    • McKinney-Vento provisions provide stability for children and youth experiencing homelessness by ensuring that they are able to attend school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there. According to each student’s best interest, eligible children and youth are able to remain in their school of origin or enroll in the school in the attendance area where the child or youth is temporarily living.
    • If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment, the parent(s)/guardian(s)/unaccompanied youth has the right to appeal the district’s decision through a quick dispute resolution process. Until the dispute is resolved, the student must be immediately admitted or readmitted to the school in which enrollment is sought by the parent(s)/guardian(s)/unaccompanied youth. 


    Immediate enrollment

    • Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment, including proof of residence, birth certificate, guardianship documentation, previous school records or immunization records. Students have the right to participate fully in school while the required documents are gathered.
    • Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to a free, appropriate public education, including early intervention services.


    School nutrition

    • Students experiencing homelessness automatically qualify for free school meals.  Once qualified, this benefit is valid for the entire school year.


    School transportation

    • To ensure school stability, students experiencing homelessness have access to the same transportation services to and from school as students who are permanently housed, even if living outside of the attendance area of the school of origin.

    Who can I talk to?

    At each Anoka-Hennepin School, there is a designated Homeless Education Lead who provides support to our students and families experiencing homelessness, ensuring access to supportive services and educational rights as named under the McKinney-Vento Act.

  • HOPE Office

    11212 Crooked Lake Blvd. NW

    Coon Rapids, MN 55433

    (763) 433-4692