Homeless Student Services

Who is Homeless? 

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homelessness as lacking a “fixed, regular, and adequate” nighttime residence. Students who have lost their housing due to economic hardship or disaster are covered under the MV Act.

Students are Homeless if they are:

  • Living in a shelter
  • Living unsheltered (in a park, car, tent, etc.)
  • Living in a motel
  • Living in a Transitional Housing program
  • Living doubled-up with others
  • Awaiting a foster care placement
  • Unaccompanied homeless youth

What should I do if I believe that a student or family is homeless in the area?

Students who are experiencing homelessness may be eligible to receive additional services under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.  If you know of or are working with children or youth who attend the Kent City Community Schools that are experiencing homelessness, or if you are working with these children and youth who last attended Kent City Community Schools, please use the documents and resources to refer them to our district McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison, Amy Tavares.

Referral Process for MV (Homeless) Eligibility and Referral Form

Common Signs of Homelessness

What rights are provided under the McKinney-Vento Act?

 K-12 students have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if they lack documents normally required for enrollment
  • Enroll in the local school or continue in their school of origin (if the school district feels the school you select is not in the best interest of the student, they will provide you with a written explanation and inform you of your right to appeal their decision)
  • Receive transportation to their school of origin, if requested
  • Receive educational services comparable to other students
  • Receive free lunch if the school participates in the School Nutrition Program

 Pre K students who are identified as eligible are:

  • Enrolled even if lacking needed documents (if there is room in the program)
  • Referred to comparable programs including Head Start, GSRP, and local preschools

What if I am alone or have dropped out of school?

If you have stopped attending school or have dropped out, your school district’s Homeless Liaison can help connect you to services, including re-enrollment in school.

Youth who are separated from their parents are eligible for help from their district's Homeless Liaison.  The Liaison can help you with enrollment, scheduling, transportation to the school of origin, school supplies, and referrals for community services.  Amy Tavares is the Kent City Community Schools McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison.


Resources, Programs, and Awareness for College Students in Need

Northern Kent County Resource Guide

Kent ISD Resources

The Ark (Youth Shelter)

The Bridge (Youth Shelter)

Family Haven (Family Shelter)

Family Promise (Family Shelter)

Help Me Grow Kent

HQ Runaway & Homeless Youth Drop-In Center

Mel Trotter (Women & Children's Shelter, Pathway Home, Youth House

Safe Haven (Women & Children's Shelter)

Sylvia's Place (Women & Children's Shelter)

United Way 2-1-1

YWCA (Family Shelter)

Susan Brummel


200 Clover Street
Kent City, MI 49330
(616) 678-7714