What’s the McKinney-Vento (Homeless Assistance) Act?

What’s the McKinney-Vento (Homeless Assistance) Act?

Education is a protected right, but a little more complicated to ensure for those experiencing unstable housing. The McKinney-Vento Act (MVA) reinforces a child’s right to enroll while their records paperwork is pending, receive comparable services to their peers and transportation to/from school, and more!

MVA was first enacted in 1997 and then reauthorized in 2015 with “Every Student Succeeds Act” (took effect in 2016). It protects a child’s educational rights for: immediate enrollment; free, appropriate public education; that they can attend even when records not present; can remain in same school, despite moving housing if in the child’s best interest; dispute reputation process can be initiated if guardian or child disagrees with enrollment decision. It also states that keiki can receive comparable services as housed peers: supportive and academic services; transportation to/from school; public bus passes; if applicable, modified bus routes. MVA ensures coordination with public/private service providers and agencies in the child’s best interest, protects privacy of student records, emphasizes future success–college prep/career readiness–establishes local liaisons to advocate on behalf of homeless children.

Who is MVA assistance for?

  • Those living doubled up: staying with friends or family because household cannot afford own rent.
  • Those living unsheltered: on the beach/at a campground/in a park; in a hotel; in a tent/car/bus; or in other non-permanent structure.
  • Those living in emergency, transitional, or domestic violence shelters; without a regular place to stay at night.
  • Children awaiting foster care placement.

During the 2019-2020 school year, 3,500 children in Hawaii lived in unstable housing and qualified for MVA protected assistance. 70% of them lived doubled up – meaning, they weren’t on the streets or in shelters, they were staying with family/friends. MVA allows keiki to have adults in the public and private sector rooting for them in words and actions.

To find out more how keiki are affected by unstable housing, read our blog post from last fall here.

  • Andrea k Mathias
    Posted at 03:57h, 26 October Reply

    Want know if guy help with one month rent secured deposit

    • Angie (IHS)
      Posted at 21:28h, 26 October Reply

      Aloha Andrea, thank you for reaching out. You can email info@ihshawaii.org and I’ll forward your inquiry to our housing program to see how they can help you. Mahalo!

  • Ebony Kulukulualani
    Posted at 01:29h, 22 August Reply

    My fiance is a widower. His late wife passed away leaving him to care for their 6 children on his own. That is extremely hard to do, i met him thru his struggle to keep his family together. They are now homeless and i have 3 children of my own so not all of us can fit in my apartment and my landlord already told me they cant stay with me or i will be evicted. Its too much people for my unit. I am desperately trying to help them get into some type of housing. He and the kids have been going all over the island looking for places to sleep out of his truck and my heart breaks for them. Please help us get them into housing. They did the shelters, didnt seem like anything was happening, nobody was getting back to us about housing..he ended up leaving the only shelter that would accomodate a big family of 7 which was all the way in waianae. I live in kalihi, he is always trying to get to kalihi so we can be together. The commute back and forth is killing us with the price of gas. They children want to come to town everyday they dont like it all the way in waianae. We have been together for 4 years now but we cannot afford to get our own place big enough for all of us on my income. He is disabled for life due to a bad car accident years ago. We really need help at this time. We have been reaching out to numerous places and we are at a stand still. Housing at palolo would be so good for them because they have the bigger 4 bedrm units. Nobody is getting back to us. How can he apply for housing and can you accomodate a large family of 7. 3 girls, 3 boys and father. they are all 6years – 15years. Can someone please get back to me asap via email or u could text me. ty so much!!

    • Angie Knight
      Posted at 03:10h, 22 August Reply

      Aloha Ebony, thank you for reaching out! I forwarded your message and contact information to our outreach team who will contact you with possible next steps. If you have more information or want to follow up you can email me at info@ihshawaii.org. Mahalo!

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