Homeless Information

If Homelessness Happens to You
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provides certain rights and protections for families experiencing homelessness.  According to McKinney-Vento, anyone who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate night-time residence is homeless.

Homelessness includes anyone:

  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing.
  • Abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care.
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or campgrounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings.
  • “Doubled up” living with friends or family due to the loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason.
  • An “unaccompanied youth”, under the age of 18, living without a parent or guardian.
  • Migratory children living in these conditions.

Homeless children have the right to:

  • Attend school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there.  You do not need a permanent address to enroll in school.
  • Not be denied school enrollment just because school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.
  • Enroll and attend classes in the parents’ school of choice even while the school and parents seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment.
  • Continue in the school they attended before they became homeless if that is the parents’ choice and is feasible.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school the child last attended prior to becoming homeless, if the parent/guardian requests it.
  • Attend a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state or local programs for which he/she is eligible.

What your family can do before moving:

  • Tell your child’s Teacher, Principal, and Homeless Education Social Worker that your child is moving, and give them the new address.
  • Let school officials know if you want your child to stay in his/her home school while you are getting the family stabilized.
  • Ask for a copy of your child’s school records, including immunizations.

Tips for families who move often:

  • Keep a copy of birth certificates and school records accessible.
  • Safeguard all health and immunization records.
  • Have a reliable person keep a second copy of the child’s birth certificate, school records and health information.
  • Enroll children in school as soon as possible.

At school, ask about these special services:

  • Free breakfast and lunch programs
  • Special transportation for children to remain in their home school
  • Special education programs, especially if the student has previously received special education services
  • Tutoring programs
  • Summer school programs
  • Pre-school programs
  • After-school programs

If you would like more information, contact the Homeless Liaison, Jessica Wiskow at 715 273-3904 or wiskowj@ellsworth.k12.wi.us.

  • Ellsworth Community School District
  • 300 Hillcrest Street, PO Box 1500
  • Ellsworth, WI 54011
  • Phone: 715-273-3900
  • Fax: 715-273-5775