The McKinney-Vento Act And Its Importance

In 1987, the McKinney-Vento Act was first adopted in the United States. In May 2009, President Barack Obama signed its updated version — Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act (Gerken, M., & Boshart, 2020). Under the act, the government has allocated considerable sums of money to help the homeless through programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education, with HUD accounting for about half of this amount. This ministry finances non-profit and government organizations that settle the homeless.

The purpose of the law is to keep people off the street and assist them in their housing, medical and educational problems. The target population of the law is homeless people of all ages, genders, and races. The plan includes medical assistance to the homeless as well as provision of food and shelter. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the Department of Education is also implementing a program for free education of homeless children and adolescents (Clemens et al., 2018). The program has allowed thousands of homeless adolescents to find liaison with the community through schools and educational programs (Clemens et al., 2018). After school, many youths have found jobs in community or charity organizations that have served as a stepping stone for future careers.

The legislation has proven to be successful in achieving the aims of integrating homeless people within the society, as well as providing them with housing, medication and educational opportunities. As a result, from 2010 to 2015, the number of homeless in the United States decreased by 23 thousand people (31%) (Gerken & Boshart, 2020). Thanks to the law, the country began to build affordable housing instead of temporary shelters and developed a national plan to combat homelessness. Young people have got a chance to finish education and pursue their interests in professional life.


Clemens, E., Hess, R. S., Strear, M. M., Rue, L., Rizzolo, S., & Henninger, J. (2018). Promoting resilience in youth experiencing homelessness through implementation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 62(2), 105-115.

Gerken, M., & Boshart, A. (2020). The CARES Act supports key programs, but more is needed soon. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. Web.