The district homeless liaison, district social workers, and school counselors will use the guidance below from the McKinney-Vento Act to determine whether a child or youth’s living situation fits into one of the specific examples of doubled-up homelessness.
The term "doubled-up" within the McKinney-Vento Act is described as “sharing the housing of other persons”. Doubled-up implies that the student is staying in another person’s home. Students qualify as homeless if the following situations describe their living situation: a) the student/family has no legal right to be in the home; b) the student/family can be asked to leave at any time with no legal recourse; c) the living situation is intended to be temporary; d) the student/family moved into the home as an urgent measure to avoid being on the street or in another precarious situation.
The phrase “due to loss of housing” is also related to the definition of "doubled up". This phrase implies that the student has no personal housing available. Students qualify as homeless if the student/ family lost their previous housing due to any of the following: a) an eviction or an inability to pay the rent or other bills; b) destruction of or damage to the previous home; c) abuse or neglect (such as in the case of a youth who leaves or is asked to leave the home; d) unhealthy conditions such as an inadequate physical environment, infestations, drug or alcohol abuse in the home, or domestic violence; e) absence of a parent or guardian due to abandonment, the parent’s or guardian’s incarceration, or another abandonment reason.
The final phrase found in the McKinney-Vento Act that is related to the term doubled-up is “economic hardship”. Thus, the way that the shared housing came about and the intention of the residents are significant factors to consider. Students qualify as homeless if: a) limited financial resources has forced student/family to leave their personal residence and share housing due to an inability to pay the rent and other bills; b) an accident or illness, loss of employment, loss of public benefits, or condition of poverty has forced the student/family to share housing temporarily.
Students do not qualify as homeless if their living situation is a long-term, cooperative living arrangement that is fixed, regular, and adequate with another family or friends. Students also do not qualify as homeless if the student/family is living in a long-term cooperative living that is fixed, regular, and adequate for the purpose of saving money.
Source: National Center for Homeless Education, Best Practices in Homeless Education Determining Eligibility for Rights and Services Under the McKinney-Vento Act, 2008