The McKinney-Vento Act’s definition of “homeless children and youths” provides the following general framework: individuals who lack fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. The law then lists several situations which fit within that framework. This list is not inclusive; rather, it is meant to address some of the more common situations of homelessness. Migrant children who are living in one of the described situations are also considered homeless under the Act.
It is important to emphasize that determining whether a particular child or youth fits the definition of homeless is a case-specific inquiry. General answers base on incomplete information or hypothetical situations will often be legally incorrect.