In 1987 President Reagan signed the McKinney-Vento Act into law. The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal mandate created to ensure students experiencing homelessness have the right to an equal and fair education. Stanislaus County Office of Education supports the McKinney-Vento Act by assisting school districts, families, and community agencies.
Quick Steps for Families Experiencing Homelessness (Housing and Shelter)
- Contact Community Service Agency - Let your case/social worker know you and your family are experiencing homelessness. If you do not have a case/social worker go to CSA to sign up for aid and let them know you and your family are experiencing homelessness.
- If you receive General Assistance such as cash aid, food stamps, or medi-cal from Community Services Agency (CSA), contact your case/social worker and let them know your family may be experiencing homelessness. They have programs for families who are experiencing homelessness, and will help provide resources and aid.
- If you do not have a case/social worker, visit Community Service Agency, 251 Hackett Rd. Modesto, CA 95358. They will help in assisting you and your family with aid such as cash aid, food stamps, medi-cal, and see if you qualify for one of their homeless programs.
- Contact other agencies that assist with shelter. Families are strongly encouraged to contact Family Promise, Modesto Gospel Mission, or Turlock Gospel Mission. When contacting these agencies and you reach their voice mail, leave a detailed message and include your name, phone number and any additional contact information.
- Once you have made contact with these agencies, become familiar with food programs in our area by calling 2-1-1.(link is external) They will provide you with information about food programs or other important resources you can use.
- Let the homeless liaison for your child’s school district know that your family is in transition. Every school district in Stanislaus County has a liaison assigned to assist families, children and youth experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless. See our guide, What You Need to Know to Help Your Child in School for more information and tips.
Quick Steps for Families Experiencing Housing Hardships (Rental Assistance)
If you need assistance paying rent, the following organizations may be able to assist you:
- Community Housing and Shelter Services (CHSS)– (209) 527-0444
- Family Promise – (209) 594-9454
- Community Impact Central Valley – (209) 572-2437
- Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) – (209) 577-3210
- 2-1-1 United Way of Stanislaus County
The McKinney-Vento Act
The McKinney-Vento Act defines the term homeless as any individual lacking a fixed, regular, adequate night-time residence.
If a family, child, or youth is living in one of the following (see examples below) please contact the district liaison to find out more information.
- Hotel, Motel
- Public Space
- Abandoned building
- Youth not in the care of a parent or guardian
- Living with another family due to financial reasons
- Any place not designated to live
What does fixed, regular, and adequate mean?
Fixed: Securely placed or fastened; Not subject to change or fluctuation. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition.) A fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.
Regular: Normal, standard; Constituted, conducted, or done in conformity with established or prescribed usages, rules, or discipline; Recurring, attending, or functioning at fixed or uniform intervals. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition.) Consistent. (Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition.) A regular residence is one which is used on a regular (i.e., nightly) basis.
Adequate: Sufficient for a specific requirement; Lawfully and reasonably sufficient. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition.) Fully sufficient; Equal to what is required; Lawfully and reasonably sufficient. (Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition.) An adequate residence is one that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments.
Adapted from migrationpoilcy.org
California has the 1st highest housing wage in the county, and a person would have to earn $39.03/hour to afford a two-bedroom rental home. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition 2022 Housing Profile, California continues to have a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income households.
The 2021 HUD Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home in Stanislaus County was $1,224/month. In order to afford a two-bedroom rental home, with rent and utilities - without paying more than 30% of income on housing - a Stanislaus County household must earn $48,960 annually. An employee earning minimum wage would have to work 67 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. View the 2021 National Low Income Housing Coalition income and housing statistics to see where California ranks nationally.
- Stanislaus County Homeless Education Liaisons
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)
- National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)
- National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC)
- What You Need to Know To Help Your Child In School
- Best Practices and Liaison Selection
- School House Connection
- California Coalition for Youth
- National Coalition for the Homeless