McKinney-Vento / Housing Instability

Homeless & Housing Instability Support

Did you know that all schools offer resources to students and families experiencing housing instability and homelessness? Under the McKinney-Vento Act, whether families have lost their own place of residence unexpectedly or are staying with a host family or extended family/friends temporarily due to loss of housing or financial hardship – there are resources to help!

Eden Prairie Schools has a dedicated homeless liaison, Reta Johnson, our Family Resources Specialist. Reta identifies families experiencing housing instability, and offers helpful support. She informs families of their rights and works to help keep students in their EP school for the remainder of the year.

Please email Reta directly at or call 952-975-7030. Want to learn more about resources available in the community? Visit

McKinney-Vento Act Requires Schools to Remove Barriers to Enrollment, Attendance and Success for Homeless Students

McKinney Vento Act

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, homelessness is defined as the lack of a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; this includes individuals who:

  • temporarily live in a hotel, motel, trailer park or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  • live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station; live in other public or private spaces not designed to accommodate regular sleeping for humans;
  • live in an emergency shelter or transitional housing;
  • temporarily share housing with another household due to loss of housing or economic hardship (doubled up);
  • are migratory and live in any of the circumstances described above;
  • are considered unaccompanied youth, i.e. not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and live in any of the circumstances described above.

The Eden Prairie School District is guided by the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act (2001-Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act-725). 

Educational Rights

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, children in housing insecurity and homelessness have the right to (NCHE National Center for Homeless Education):

  • Immediate enrollment, even if they are missing records required for enrollment such as a birth certificate, proof of residence, previous school records or immunization records. 
  • Attend the local school or the school of origin depending on what is in the child’s best interest. (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 when possible
  • Have access to the same programs and services that are available to other students
  • Free Reduced Lunch Program
  • Title 1 Services