Homeless Students

Students Experiencing Homelessness

Holyoke Public Schools provides various types of support for students experiencing homelessness in order to help them attend school consistently. Eligible families may be living in shelters or may not have their own lease because they are temporarily staying with family members or acquaintances.



The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) ensures homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, including public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.  The goal of McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is to ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youth.

The McKinney-Vento Acto protects children who do not have a permanent place to live such as:

  • Children living with friends or relatives dues to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reasons.
  • Children living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campground due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
  • Children living in shelters.
  • Children living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
  • Children of migrant workers.

If you have to move out of your home and have no permanent place to live, federal laws allow you to keep your child in the same school at no cost to you. If your children and family have experienced or are experiencing a loss of housing please contact the District Homeless Coordinator for information.

At HPS we provide services to displaced students such as:

  • Uniforms
  • School backpack with supplies
  • Shoes
  • Underwear and socks
  • Hygiene products
  • Winter coats and winter gears
  • Transportation per the District’s Transportation Policy.
  • The right to enroll your child or youth without proof of residency, immunization school records, or other documents.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which the students are eligible for.
  • Automatically and immediately enrolled in free school meal programs. 
  • After school programming with local afterschool programs (based on funds availability).

Eviction Legal Help Project

Through the COVID-19 Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP), a substantial expansion of free legal help for low-income tenants as well as low-income owner-occupants of 2-3 family properties navigating the eviction process has started. These services can be used before the eviction process begins, as well as once a notice has been received, and can be used in coordination with the mediation services we have already rolled out.  For these services income eligibility is capped at 200% of federal poverty level.

Services will be available in every region and can be found on a new website built for this initiative: https://evictionlegalhelp.org/. Households can also call 2-1-1, and learn more at our website, www.mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp.  

Contact Us

Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales,
Coordinator for Families in Transition
413-534-2000 Ext. 1140

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