Homeless Students

MCKINNEY- VENTO PROGRAM

PROVIDING EQUAL ACCESS TO PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Holyoke Public Schools provides various types of support for students experiencing housing instability in order to provide them school stability. Eligible students may be living in shelters or may be sharing housing temporarily with family members or acquaintances. 

 

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Program) ensures that each child and unaccompanied youth experiencing housing instability have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education as provided to other children and youth, including public preschool education.

The McKinney-Vento Act protects the educational rights of children or unaccompanied youth experiencing housing instability, such as::

  • Children living with friends or relatives due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reasons.
  • Children living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds 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 school of origin at no cost to you. If your children and family have experienced or are experiencing a loss of housing please contact the Manager of McKinney-Vento Student Services for information.

At HPS we provide services to students experiencing housing instability 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).

FAMILY REFERRAL FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO SERVICES

For currently enrolled students already identified or for students recently experienced loss of housing

 

STUDENT RECENTLY EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF HOUSING: Use Referral Form

  • Parent/guardian reported a new address due to loss of previous housing (e.g. eviction, natural disasters, domestic violence, building condemned, economic hardship, etc)
  • Family is about to lose their permanent housing

CURRENT MCKINNEY VENTO STUDENT(S): Use Referral Form

  • Family/student(s) need extra support under McKinney-Vento
    • The student has been absent from school more than 3 times 
  • Refer family/student for attendance support once you have completed/tried the tier 1 interventions.

 

SERVICES AVAILABLE

  • Referrals for:
    • Food
    • Clothing/Uniforms
    • Mental Health Services
    • Health Insurance assistance
  • Attendance follow up 
  • Transportation
    • Student transportation to/from school
    • PVTA/Uber cards for parents to attend school functions
  • Housing Resources
    • Community Rental Assistance Program (referral/application/information)
    • DHCD-Emergency Shelter Application
    • Housing discrimination assisstance (resource information/referral)
  • Community Resources
    • Hi-Set Program
    • Adult ESL Program
    • Workforce
    • Finance Literacy

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, MSW
Manager of McKinney-Vento Student Services
mckv@hps.holyoke.ma.us
413-513-5308

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