Alternative Student Transportation provides children experiencing homelessness with safe and reliable journeys to and from school. Consistent transportation can build a sense of security when life feels uncertain. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines the term “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

Students experiencing homelessness can refer to individuals who:

  • Share housing due to financial difficulties or the loss of housing  
  • Have a primary night-time residence (whether in a public or private space) that is unfit for human habitation
  • Live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodation
  • Reside in emergency or traditional shelters
  • Take shelter in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings 
  • Are abandoned in hospitals 

Outsourced Student Transportation for Students Experiencing Homelessness

With EverDriven, students experiencing homelessness benefit from:

  • Route flexibility with varying drop-off and pick-up locations
  • Reduced stress through reliable transportation
  • Familiar environment with the same EverSafe Driver

Students experiencing housing insecurity benefit from flexible transportation options that can be adjusted as they move from one location to another. Unlike the traditional school bus, small-capacity vehicles used by EverDriven efficiently accommodate changes in pick-up or drop-off locations as they are not limited by a set route, ensuring that the child can continue to attend school even if they move frequently or have irregular schedules. Students are more likely to feel grounded knowing their transportation needs are addressed. This contributes to the student’s overall well-being and enables them to focus better during class.

The ability to adjust routes also optimizes travel time and makes transportation more accessible for students experiencing homelessness. This combats chronic absenteeism and leads to better academic outcomes for McKinney-Vento students. In addition, we provide students with the same EverSafe Driver daily to create a consistent routine for students.

School Transportation Funding for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Funding is critical for school districts to help remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless students in school. This includes providing transportation to and from the school of origin if it is in the best interest of the student. Below are several funding options to provide students facing housing insecurity with transportation services:

McKinney-Vento Subgrant Funds

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provides students experiencing homelessness with transportation assistance if they meet the eligibility requirements.

This Act also covers “unaccompanied youth,” which is defined as a child or youth who is homeless and is not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian and offers these individuals the same rights as their housed peers.

If it’s in the student’s best interest to continue attending the same school that they were enrolled in when they became homeless, the McKinney-Vento Act also allows families to keep their child in the school of origin. In this case, school districts must provide the student with transportation services to help ensure attendance.

Local Educational Agency (LEA) Transportation Funds or General Funds

The local educational agency (LEA) where the school of origin is located must arrange transportation without delay and ensure that students experiencing homelessness can attend classes for the entire school day, neither arriving late nor leaving before the school day has ended to minimize educational disruptions.

As this responsibility exists for all LEAs, even when an LEA may not provide transportation for other students, most school districts rely on state transportation or general funds to provide homeless students with school transportation.

Title I, Part A Funds

Schools or districts that qualify for Title I may have access to funds intended to provide school transportation for students. Title I funds can also be used to transport non-low-income students to school – enabling districts to offer school transportation to all students, not just those who individually qualify as low-income.

Funds reserved for students experiencing homelessness under Title I, Part A (set-aside funds) may be used to provide children and youth who are homeless with services not ordinarily provided to other students, including providing transportation to and from the school of origin.

Title I, Part A funds for students who are homeless may be used for other transportation needs, such as transportation to enable a student experiencing homelessness to participate in an educational activity after school if transportation is not otherwise available.

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