McKinney-Vento: Homeless Children and Youth Program

The McKinney-Vento Act:

Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are eligible for McKinney-Vento services. In general, children or youth living in motels, transitional housing, shelters, the street, cars, abandoned buildings, and other inadequate accommodations. This includes, but is not limited to, the following groups:


The Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, which is part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, ensures that eligible children have the following rights:

Support Offered:

McKinney-Vento funds can be used to assist students with:

997 Students Experienced Homelessness in Branch and Hillsdale Counties during the 2022-2023 School Year

42% of children experiencing homelessness are under the age of 6 

Children experiencing homelessness go hungry 2 times as often as their stability housed peers

Students experiencing homelessness are 3 times more likely to experience PTSD than their housed peers

Children experiencing homelessness are 9 times more likely to repeat a grade

28% of LGBTQ youth experienced homelessness or housing instability in their lives

1 in 5 students experiencing homelessness will drop out of high school

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Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls began in 1990 as an art class project in a Michigan high school to raise funds for a food drive. Students made ceramic bowls, served a meal of soup and bread, and invited guests to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. Wanting to do something to bring awareness to our community about homelessness and raising money for the McKinney-Vento Act, the McKinney-Vento Grant Grant Coordinator decided to bring the empty bowls event to our community. Much like the original event, high school students are invited to make ceramic bowls or to decorate bowls provided to them. Then in November, the community is invited to purchase bowls, enjoy a soup meal, and learn about homelessness. (I can provide you photos of bowls and event details).

Please use the Contact Form or call (517) 278-SAFE with any questions.

Altrusa Teen SHARE (Student Housing And Resource Exchange) is a homeless shelter and program for teenagers in Branch County and the surrounding areas. Since 1996 this program has allowed a safe haven for teens. Each student is assessed individually to see if our services will meet the needs of the teen. These teens have become homeless due to various circumstances. They include parent neglect, substance abuse and innumerable circumstances that landed them in this situation. Visit the Altrusa Teenshare page by clicking here.

Contact Us

Questions? Let us know how we can help. You can also make a referral for a student you believe should be identified as McKinney-Vento using this form.

McKinney-Vento Grant Coordinator for Branch
and Hillsdale Counties

Holly Carpenter
(517) 278-7233

Dispute Resolution:

The McKinney-Vento Act acknowledges that disputes may arise between the school district and homeless students and their parents/guardians regarding the education of homeless children and youth. Guidance for school selection and other decisions are provided in the law. The law includes dispute resolution among the required duties of the district liaison.