The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence as homeless. This includes children and youths who:
- share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled-up”);
- live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
- live in emergency or transitional shelters;
- are abandoned in hospitals;
- 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;
- live in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing (e.g., housing that lacks any one of the fundamental utilities, does not have working a kitchen or plumbing, is overcrowded, or infested), bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
- Unaccompanied youth who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.