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Definition of Homeless Children and Youths


The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youths as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:
  • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason

  • Children and youths who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement

  • 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, or

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above

Questions: Leanne Wheeler | homelessED@cde.ca.gov | 866-856-8214 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
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