McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

  • Serving Families in Transition

    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 one of the four definitions listed above.
    How does the McKinney-Vento program work at MCPS?


    Missoula County Public Schools employs a Families-in-Transition (FIT) liaison to advocate for families and to assist them in coordinating the academic support for their students. The FIT liaison works closely with Family Resource Center or FIT coordinators at each building in the district to assure eligible families receive needed support. The FIT liaison assists families with immediate school enrollment for eligible students (regardless of missing immunization or academic records), arranges for busing or transportation assistance, and refers students for tutoring services. When applying for colleges the FIT liaison can also assist in the FAFSA process by sending official letters of eligibility to camups financial aid offices. There are also scholarships available to help our McKinney-Vento students pay for their education.


    For more information or assistance with determining eligibility, contact the MCPS FIT Liaison:


    Colleen Lehman

    MCPS FIT Liaison

    215 South Sixth Street West

    Missoula, MT  59801

    406-728-2400 ext. 1080


    How can I access McKinney-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 FIT liaisonat 728-2400, ext. 1080 or call your school Family Resource Coordinator or FIT Coordinator.  You may also fill out the MCPS Student Residency Questionnaire which you may request from your school secretary or download here for your convenience. Residency Questionnaire



    For more information about the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, please visit the Montana Office of Public Instruction at McKinney-Vento - Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.

    Additional Resources
    To learn more about additional resources in Missoula, please click on the links below.


    If you are a parent/guardian of a student with questions or concerns regarding the school placement of your child, please feel free to download the Dispute Resolution Form and submit it to Colleen Lehman at the above address.