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


Schools use the definition of homeless as defined by The McKinney-Vento Act.  This act also outlines the rights and protections offered to students and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.


The term “homeless children and youth”—

  1. means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and
  2. includes —
    1. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
    2. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings…;
    3. public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
    4. migratory children…who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Homeless Metrix

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 Application

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)