The McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.) is a federal law that addresses the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The law defines homeless to include the following temporary living situations due to hardship:
The McKinney-Vento Act addresses educational challenges created by homelessness and guarantees students the right to enroll, attend, and succeed in school.
Students experiencing homelessness may change schools frequently. Learning is impacted as students must adjust to new environments, new curricula, and new teachers and classmates, while still learning the same information other students are expected to master. The loss of a home can be traumatic, leaving children and youth with tumultuous feelings that can impact their social and intellectual wellbeing. Limited access to food, medical care, and basic school supplies can also impact performance in the classroom (NCHE, 2014).
White Flag nights are nights when the temperature is 32°F or lower or if the temperature is 38°F with precipitation. On these nights, families and youth can stay inside these locations to keep warm. White Flag in Wake County operates from November - March at participating locations.
White Flag Information English / Spanish
To access housing or shelter, please visit a location listed here or contact your school liaison.
Locations that you can contact directly:
Raleigh Rescue Mission (919) 828-9014
The Carying Place (919) 462-1800
Youth Age 10-17:
Wrenn House, 908 W Morgan St, Raleigh, 27603, (919) 832-7866*
*Contact Wrenn House directly
For assistance with rent or utilities, please visit Wake Network of Care financial assistance resource list.
Download directions for Wake Network of Care for Android or iPhone.
For assistance with food, clothing and other basic needs, please visit Wake Network of Care or speak with your school McKinney-Vento liaison. Download directions for Wake Network of Care for Android or iPhone.
If you are a youth that has runaway or been kicked out of the home, we can help you with food, shelter, clothing, etc. Please speak with your high school SAP Counselor, the School Social Worker at all other schools or any adult with whom you feel comfortable. You will not get in trouble. Your safety is our first priority.
To find a safe place:
If you’re in trouble or need help, text SAFE and your current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) for immediate help.
Have access to the same programs and services that are available to all other students, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
Free meal benefits - no Free & Reduced Application required. The USDA policies allow for automatic enrollment of students identified in the McKinney-Vento Program, known as "direct certification," to ensure students receive meals quickly.
Attend school with children not experiencing homelessness; a school can not segregate a student because he or she is homeless.