Homeless Awareness Program

The Ephrata Schoold district Homeless Awareness Program is in place to address and support the

educational needs of students who find themselves in temporary or transitional housing during

the school year. The program reduces the barriers of homelessness, so students and their families

feel supported and encouraged while they secure permanent housing.

 

The McKinney-Vento Act

This act is funded by the federal government and comes to the school district as part of the Ephrata

School District Title Funds allocation. Each year the school district is required to set aside funds to

support students covered by McKinney-Vento Act provisions.

 

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular and 

adequate nighttime residence". The act provides examples of children who would fall under this

definition:

  • Sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
  • Living in motels or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Lifing in emergency or transitional shelters.
  • Sleeping locations not usually used as a sleeping accommodation
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandonded buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations.                                                                                      

Under federal law, homeless children and youth are entitled to immediate enrollment in school and

educational stability. The act ensures homeless children transportation to and from school free of 

charge, allowing children to attend their school of origin (last school enrolled or the school they

attended when they first became homeless) regardless of what district the family resides in. It

requires schools to register homeless children if they lack normally required documents, such as

immunization records or proof of residence.

 

School Districts Responsibilities

School district must appoint a liaison to ensure school staff are aware of the McKinney-Vento Act, to

provide public notice to homeless families, and to facilitate access to school and transportation services.

 

The position serves as liaison between the school, parents, students, and community agencies to meet

the educational needs of the students.

 

If you have a student/child who may qualify for our program's assistance and services, or would like more

information, please contact our Homeless Education Liaison:

Frank Cardwell

509.754.2474 ext 2306

fcardwell@ephrataschools.org      

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