1. Information about Financial Hardships and Homelessness

Updated 5-30-23

Financial hardships or homelessness can strike anyone at any time, and schools can help in such times. Part of our role as a public school is to abide by the McKinney Vento Act, which means we make sure all of our students have access to their education while with us, regardless of living situations. Public schools have liaisons on staff who help families navigate through economic hardships, and teachers are trained to support and assist as well.

More specifically, the McKinney Vento Act is a law intended to make sure students experiencing housing difficulties or homelessness are able to access their school assignments and are able to receive referrals to services. Services are things like supports for academic/emotional/mental/social-emotional needs, housing assistance, and other necessities a family may need as the law allows.

Housing difficulties and homelessness are defined by the McKinney Vento Act as “…individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This definition also includes: 

  • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • Children and youth who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above

Remember seeing the McKinney Vento Assistance Act Declaration form when you enrolled? It’s a form that all enrolled families fill out for each student that asks about their living arrangements, and this helps our liaison identify those who may be eligible for services. Though this form is filled out once a school year, circumstances can change at any moment. Instead of waiting until the next time of enrollment for the McKinney Vento form, please contact our school’s homeless and foster youth liaison (Holly Wade –; 657-799-3254) or your supervising teacher.

Our liaison can provide you with resources for your specific needs based on your location. Clicking here will take you to a folder of all the resources we currently have for each county we serve (Orange, LA, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego).

Another way to get the referrals you might need is by calling 2-1-1 (or 1-888-600-4357) and being added to the waitlist for local community services. The 2-1-1 service is free, multi-lingual, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a good idea to call here first and research other assistance resources while waiting.

We at Epic are here to help and support our families, especially during times of financial hardships or homelessness. Please contact your teacher or our liaison if you have questions or concerns, or would like to see what options may be available for your family’s individual needs.

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