McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act affords eligible students the rights to immediate enrollment, transportation/busing, automatic enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program, automatic enrollment in Title I services, all school-based services of which they qualify, participate in all programs and activities offered to students and families and challenge enrollment/school-choice decisions.
Who is Eligible for FIT Services According to the McKinney-Vento Act?
The term “homeless children and youth” refers to individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Under the law, a child may qualify as homeless if he or she is:
· Living in an emergency shelter, domestic violence shelter, or transitional housing. Examples in Missoula might include: Poverello Center’s Maclay Commons/Joseph Residence, Carole Graham, Mountain Home Montana, YWCA Transitional Housing Program, the Salvation Army’s Gateway Program, YWCA’s Domestic Violence Shelter, Family Promise, etc.;
· Living in a motel, hotel, trailer park, or campground, were abandoned in a hospital, or are awaiting foster care placement;
· Living in a car, park, public place, bus or train station, abandoned building, or other structure not meant for housing;
· Doubled-up with relatives or friends due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
Missoula County Public Schools employs a Families-in-Transition (FIT) liaison to advocate for families and to assist them in coordinating the academic support for their students. The FIT liaison works closely with Family Resource Center or FIT coordinators at each building in the district to assure eligible families receive needed support. The FIT liaison assists families with immediate school enrollment for eligible students (regardless of missing immunization or academic records), arranges for busing or transportation assistance, and refers students for tutoring services for those in grades K-8.
For more information or assistance with determining eligibility, contact the MCPS FIT Liaison:
MCPS FIT Liaison
215 South Sixth Street West
Missoula, MT 59801
406-728-2400 ext. 1080
MCPS also contracts with the Family BASICS program at Women's Opportunity Resource Development, Inc. (WORD). The Family Advocates at WORD assist families in identifying transitional housing and needed social services.
How can I access McKiney-Vento services?
If you feel your child or family meets one or more of the qualifications to receive services provided by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and your child is currently or will be enrolled in an MCPS school, please contact the FIT liaison, Trish Kirschten at 728-2400, ext. 1080 or call your school principal.
To learn more about services provided by Family Basics as part of the McKinney-Vento Act, click here.
For more information about the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, click here.
If you are a parent/guardian of a student with questions or concerns regarding the school placement of your child, please feel free to download the Dispute Resolution Form and submit it to Trish Kirschten at the above address.