Homeless Children and Youth Program 

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DCPS is committed to serving all students residing in the District of Columbia, including homeless children and youth. 

A homeless student is defined as a child without a regular, fixed, and adequate nighttime residence. The child may live in a shelter, a temporary home, a motel, a car, a campground, or on the street. Homeless children may also be living temporarily with relatives or friends because of a loss of permanent housing.

Homeless Students’ Rights

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001 requires all school districts to provide homeless children and youth, including unaccompanied youth, a free and appropriate education.

The Office of Youth Engagement (OYE) Homeless Children and Youth Program (HCYP) works with homeless students and families, schools, shelters, and community organizations to ensure that their basic educational rights are protected.

These rights include:

  • Immediate enrollment in school
  • Confidentiality regarding disclosure of homeless status
  • Continuity of educational program at the school of origin or placement in a school that is in the best interest of the student
  • Transportation assistance
  • A challenging, rigorous education equal to that of their peers

Additional Support in DCPS

Additional support from the Homeless Children and Youth Program includes the following:

  • School supplies
  • School fee assistance
  • Referrals to other city services
  • Parent training

How to Get Help

Each school has an identified homeless liaison who receives quarterly training based on the McKinney-Vento Act. This staff member is responsible for providing assistance to homeless students and their families by protecting their rights and providing them support.

For additional assistance, parents may contact Andrea Allen, Director of Attendance.

Nicole Lee-Mwandha, Homeless Children and Youth Program Specialist 
Phone: (202) 576-9502
Email: nicole.lee-mwandha@dc.gov

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