Services for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, schools must identify children and youth in homeless situations and provide appropriate services including immediate enrollment in school and participation in the school lunch program.

Vernon ISD includes a residency questionnaire in each enrollment packet that helps identify those students who may be in need of assistance due to homelessness or as unaccompanied youth. Any child or youth whose status changes during the school year may request the form from the school office.

Who is homeless?

The term “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes children and youths who are sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship; are living in motels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation such as those living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings may meet the definition of homeless.

What are your rights?

  • Homeless children have a right to attend school.

  • You do not need a permanent address to enroll your child in school.

  • Homeless children have the right to stay in their home school if the parents choose.

  • Your child cannot be denied school enrollment just because school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.

  • Your child has the opportunity to receive transportation services to and from the school of origin.

  • Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which he/she is eligible.

Should you or your child find yourself in these circumstances, even temporarily, there are services to help. Please speak with the school counselor who will forward the information to the district’s homeless coordinator so that your child can be enrolled and receive services. In addition to participation in the school lunch program, the homeless coordinator should be able to provide school supplies if needed and direct you to other community resources.

More information provided at Texas Homeless Education Office.

Contact for Homeless Services

Nicole Cameron, LMSW
VISD Social Worker
(940) 553-1900 ext. 2248