The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program is authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of December, 2015. The Wisconsin EHCY program addresses the needs of students experiencing homelessness in LEAs throughout the state by supporting homeless liaisons and by distributing funds from the U.S. Department of Education. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) designates two statewide EHCY Coordinators to provide training and technical assistance, review and create policies and procedures, and monitor LEAs for program compliance to ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness are able to attend and fully participate in school. Funding is distributed to LEAs through a competitive grant process.
The mission of the DPI EHCY program is to ensure educational equity and success for students experiencing homelessness by providing support on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Our vision is that all students experiencing homelessness are provided the opportunity and supports needed to achieve their goals and own their future.
For more information, see the McKinney-Vento section (pages 108-155) of the Wisconsin Consolidated State Plan.
Definition of Homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless children and youths as those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The law provides several examples of situations that meet the definition. This includes children and youths:
- sharing housing due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
- living in hotels, motels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate housing;
- living in emergency or transitional shelters;
- abandoned in hospitals;
- living in a public or private place not designated for, or normally used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
- living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar places; and/or
- living in one of the above circumstances and who are migratory.