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DEFINITION OF HOMELESSNESS UNDER THE MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless children and youths as those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The law provides several examples of situations that meet the definition. This includes children and youths:

  • sharing housing due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  • living in hotels, motels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate housing;
  • living in emergency or transitional shelters;
  • abandoned in hospitals;
  • living in a public or private place not designated for, or normally used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar places; and/or
  • living in one of the above circumstances and who are migratory.