The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act mandates that all local school districts have a homeless education liaison who ensures that:
- Homeless children and youth are identified
- Homeless students are immediately enrolled and attend school regardless of paperwork barriers (such as lack of address or proof of immunizations)
- Homeless families, children, and youth receive all educational services for which they are eligible and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school
- Parents or guardians are informed of the educational opportunities available to their children
- Homeless students have the right to remain in their school of origin (school attended when permanently housed or last enrolled) for the duration of their homelessness or until the end of the academic year in which they move into permanent housing
- Unaccompanied youth are assisted in placement/enrollment decisions
- Enrollment disputes are mediated
Schools should protect the dignity of families in transition by following the procedures established by their district under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, including confidentiality.
Note that these procedures should be implemented if a child is living in a shelter, motel, vehicle, or trailer; on the street; in an abandoned building, campground, or any other inadequate accommodation, including “couch surfing” (having no permanent address); or living doubled or tripled up with friends or relatives due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or extremely limited income in an area with a severe shortage of affordable housing.
Liaison Names and Contacts
Sonoma County 2020 Point-in-Time Homeless Count showed reduction in County homelessness
Sonoma County’s 2020 Point-in-Time Homeless Count report released this week shows that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Sonoma County decreased by 7% since 2019. The reduction from 2,951 to 2,745 in 2020 was due in large part to an injection of more than $11 million from the Board of Supervisors to fund the Los Guilicos Village campus, shared housing and master leasing options, along with increased funding from the State of California and intensive outreach and care coordination of critical services by the County’s Accessing Coordinated Care & Empowering Self-Sufficiency initiative.
Supervisor Susan Gorin noted that this count was taken in February before the local economy shut down due to COVID-19, so it’s unclear how the pandemic may have contributed to the numbers of homeless in the community since then. But she said that the county has accelerated efforts to support those dealing with the region’s high housing costs including authorizing wage replacement for residents who have access to the fewest resources and who test positive for COVID-19.
For more detailed information, read the 2020 Homeless Census Executive Summary and view the 2020 Sonoma County Homeless Youth Needs Assessment Infographic.
Questions may be directed to:
- Debra Sanders, Foster and Homeless Youth Education Services Coordinator