Homeless Education Programs

The Homeless Education Program creates programs for students and families experiencing homelessness throughout Baltimore County that enhance academic achievement, technology skills, college preparation, and job skills training.  To accomplish these objectives, the Homeless Education program will provide:

  • Tutoring resources in the shelters
  • Therapy focused to facilitate increased school attendance and performance
  • Summer camp opportunities where secondary students have the opportunity to earn academic credit; complete seminars and receive mentoring in life skills, employment skills, and college entrance requirements
  • Summer camp opportunities where elementary students have the opportunity to enrich literacy and math content and participate in enrichment activities to improve social skills
  • Mentorships for high school students to facilitate college readiness
  • School supplies.

The Homeless Liaisons will participate in ongoing collaboration with the Office of Support Services, Office of Transportation, Office of Food and Nutrition, Office of Health Services as well as school based homeless liaisons to meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness in BCPS.  

Name Title Phone Number
Melissa Forster
Homeless Liaison
Laurie Rijo De La Rosa
Homeless Liaison


The McKinney-Vento Act defines homelessness as children and youth who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.


Youth are considered homeless if they are:

  • Sharing housing with others due to loss of family housing

  • Living in motels or hotels due to a lack of any other housing

  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters

Supporting the Education of Students Experiencing Homelessness

Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Parental Rights

The McKinney-Vento statute is intended to eliminate barriers that would prohibit students experiencing homelessness from accessing a rigorous instructional program.  In accordance with McKinney-Vento, parents and students are afforded the following rights:

  1. Equal access to services
  2. Equal access to programs
  3. School enrollment without delay
  4. Opportunity to continue enrollment in the school or origin unless determined not in the best interest of the student
  5. Participation in the appeal and dispute process

Appeal Letter,  ESA

Food and Nutrition Services

Students experiencing homelessness qualify for free breakfast and lunch.  Referrals for meal services will be submitted by the pupil personnel worker after the McKinney Vento determination.

Community Resources

Additional community resources are available for families who are experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied youth.

Street Card

Tips for Completing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)