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Read Mark's Story

When Mark and his family were homeless, he worried that he would not be able to continue to attend his school, where he had strong bonds with his teachers and his friends.

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Who We Serve

Students in Temporary Housing

Students in Temporary Housing

Students who are living in a homeless shelter or other temporary housing arrangements have certain rights including the right to remain in the school they were attending before they became homeless and the right to transportation to their school. Through a grant from the State Education Department, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) runs the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS), which provides information, referrals, and training to parents, schools, school districts, social service providers, and others about the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness throughout New York State. Our services include:

Guides & Resources

  • View the NYS-TEACHS brochure on the educational rights of students in temporary housing, available in English and Spanish
  • Looking for a one-page summary of your child’s rights under McKinney-Vento? Check out our Quick Tips for Parents tip sheet.
  • Additional materials are available on the NYS-TEACHS website.


McKinney-Vento At a Glance
Call our toll-free hotline for more information: 1-800-388-2014

The McKinney-Vento Act covers children and youth who do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, such as those living:

  • in an emergency or transitional shelter;
  • with others due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or other similar reason (doubled up);
  • in a motel, hotel or campground because of the lack of alternative adequate accomodations;
  • in a car, bus or train station or other public place;
  • in an abandoned building or some other inadequate accommodations; or
  • in temporary situations while awaiting foster care placement.

Students covered by the McKinney-Vento Act can:

  • Stay in their same schools even if they are now temporarily residing outside of the district and receive free transportation to that school;
  • enroll in the local school and attend classes immediately even if they don't have the documents formally needed;
  • get free school meals without completing an application;
  • receive Title I services;
  • participate in any school activity or program available to other students; and
  • get special education services immediately if the student has a current IEP.

Data on Students in Temporary Housing

Since 2006, the number of identified students in temporary housing has more than doubled, both in New York City and in New York State overall. Data on the number of students in temporary housing, their primary nighttime residence, and the expected number of students in temporary housing for a particular district based on poverty data can be found on the NYS-TEACHS website.