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What Does Homelessness Look Like for a Shoreline School District Student?
Posted by Pam Kinnaird on May 16, 2013 at 9:58am

Out of over 8,000 students attending Shoreline during the 2012-2013 school year,  220 students are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act.  This means that they are living in one of the following circumstances:

The term “homeless children and youths” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes the following:

  • Shared housing or “doubled-up”:  Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons (friends, family, or others) due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason are considered homeless.  (This is often referred to as “couch surfing.”)
  • Motels, hotels, campgrounds, and other locations:  Children and youths who are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations are considered homeless.
  • Transitional settings:  Children and youths who are living in emergency or transitional shelters are considered homeless.  Also, transitional housing programs are not considered permanent housing, but rather temporary accommodations for homeless individuals and families, as a step to permanent housing.  Residents of transitional housing continue to be considered homeless until they move into permanent housing.
  • Abandoned in hospitals:  There are instances when children and youth remain in a hospital beyond the time that they would normally stay for health reasons because they have been abandoned by their families.  These children and youths should be considered homeless because they have no other place to live.
  • Awaiting foster care placement:  Children and youth who have already been placed in foster care are not considered homeless.  However, children and youth who are “awaiting” placement in state care are included in the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless.
  • Accommodations not ordinarily to be used by human beings:  Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings are considered homeless.
  • Cars, train stations, and similar settings:  Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings are to be considered homeless.
  • Migrant children:  Migratory children and youths should be considered homeless if they are staying in accommodations not fit for habitation, or if they are living in any of the circumstances described in the definition of homeless as per the McKinney-Vento Act.  (They should not be considered homeless simply because they are children of migratory families.)
  • Runaways:  Children or youth who have run away from home and live in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, the streets, or other inadequate accommodations are considered homeless, even if their parents have provided and are willing to provide a home for them.
  • Throwaways:  Throwaway children or youth (i.e., those whose parents or guardians will not permit them to live at home) are considered homeless if they live on the streets, in shelters, or in other transitional or inadequate accommodations.
  • Unaccompanied youth:  The term “unaccompanied youth” includes a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.  This would include youth living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the streets, or in other inadequate housing, and children or youths denied housing by their families (“throwaways”), and school-age unwed mothers who are living in homes for unwed mothers and have no other housing available.

 The majority of our homeless students are doubled up with another family out of economic necessity. Some live in cars, in motels and some are living in shelters or on the street.  It's a sad fact that in a country with so much wealth, families are struggling more and more to simply keep a roof over their heads and food on their table.

The Shoreline School District is committed to providing our students with equal access to an education.  With that in mind, we give our homeless students supports in the way of tutoring, transportation, waived fees, free breakfast and lunch and put them in touch with resources within the community for food, housing and medical services.The Shoreline School District does not discriminate against any protected class, including those that are homeless.  We respect their confidentiality and strive to reach out to families experiencing hardship.