If you lost your housing and now live in temporary or inadequate housing, your child might be able to receive help through a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. If you are a young person who is no longer living with your parent/guardian in one of the situations above, you may also qualify for help.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines "homeless children and youth" as those who "lack a regular, fixed, and adequate night-time residence" and includes the following:
- children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations
- are living in emergency or transitional shelters
- are abandoned in hospitals
- children and youth 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
- children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
- migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described above
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, children and youth in homeless situations have the right to:
- Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there.
- Attend either the local school or the school of origin, if this is in their best interest; the school of origin is the school the child attended when he/she was permanently housed or the school in which the child was last enrolled.
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin.
- Enroll in school immediately, even if missing records and documents normally required for enrollment, such as a birth certificate, proof of residence, previous school records, or immunization/medical records.
- Enroll, attend classes, and participate fully in all school activities while the school gathers records.
- Have access to the same programs and services that are available to all other students, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
- Attend school with children not experiencing homelessness; a school can not segregate a student because he or she is homeless.
In Wilkes County Schools, the school social workers meet with parents/guardians or youth living without their parents/guardians to determine if students are eligible for the services listed above.
Please call or talk with someone in the main office of the school to have the school social worker contact you.
The school social workers and the schools they serve are listed below:
||C.C. Wright Elementary, Mt. Pleasant Elementary, North Wilkesboro Elementary, West Wilkes Middle, and West Wilkes High
||Mulberry Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, North Wilkes Middle, North Wilkes High, and Traphill Elementary
||Boomer-Ferguson Elementary, Central Wilkes Middle, Moravian Falls Elementary, Wilkes Central High, Wilkes Early College High, and Wilkesboro Elementary
||East Wilkes High, East Wilkes Middle, Millers Creek Elementary, Roaring River Elementary, Ronda-Clingman Elementary
If you have trouble contacting the school social worker or have additional questions about the information above, please contact April Marr, the McKinney-Vento Liaison for the school district. You can reach Mrs. Marr by telephone at 336-667-1121. Additionally, the NC Homeless Education Program State Coordinator, Lisa Phillips, may also be reached by telephone at 336-315-7491.
Wilkes County Schools has identified the following numbers of children and youth experiencing homelessness over the past ten years:
For more data and information on homeless children and youth in NC, please visit the following websites: