Serving Families in Transition
MCPS serves youth and families experiencing homelessness as defined by the McKinney Vento Act through the Families in Transition (FIT) Program. Each school has a designated staff member that is trained to identify and direct families to resources. At Title 1 schools, the designated staff member is the Family Resource Specialist and at all other schools the designated staff member is the FIT Coordinator. Each designated staff member is assigned 15 to 35 hours a week to work with you and families in the program. Other staff members are also able to identify eligible youth and families in transition and submit the student resource questionnaire to the LEA District Liaison, Colleen Lehman. The District Liaison will then follow up with the family and enroll the student into the McKinney Vento (MH) Program, if eligible.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act affords eligible students the rights to immediate enrollment, transportation/busing, automatic enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program, automatic enrollment in Title I services, all school-based services of which they qualify, participate in all programs and activities offered to students and families and challenge enrollment/school-choice decisions.
Who is Eligible for FIT Services According to the McKinney-Vento Act?
The term “homeless children and youth” refers to individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Under the law, a child may qualify as homeless if he or she is:
- Living in an emergency shelter, domestic violence shelter, or transitional housing. Examples in Missoula might include: Carole Graham, Mountain Home Montana, YWCA Transitional Housing Program, the Salvation Army’s Gateway Program, YWCA’s Domestic Violence Shelter, Family Promise, Union Gospel Mission, etc.;
- Living in a motel, hotel, trailer park, or campground, were abandoned in a hospital;
- Living in a car, park, public place, bus or train station, abandoned building, or other structure not meant for housing;
- Doubled-up with relatives or friends due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
- NOT living with a parent or legal guardian, is an unaccompanied youth living in a situation that meets on of the four definitions listed above.
How can I access McKiney-Vento services?
If you feel your child or family meets one or more of the qualifications to receive services provided by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and your child is currently or will be enrolled in an MCPS school, please contact the your school Families in Transition (FIT) Coordinator for more info, or for assistance with determining eligibility please contact the District Liaison: Colleen Lehman - McKinney Vento Homeless Liaison and Foster Care Point of Contact, (406)728-2400, ext. 1080 - email@example.com - Administration Building Room B4.