The Homeless Support Program serves homeless students enrolled in Bellingham Public Schools.  Services are provided through existing programs and strategies that integrate homeless individuals with non-homeless individuals. This program is designed to reduce isolation, maximize stability and maintain consistency for this population of children and youth. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that guarantees all children and youth the right to an equal education regardless of their living situation.  Protection under the McKinney-Vento Act extends to those who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.


Homeless Support Program Coordinators:

Roxana Parise
Homeless Support Specialist

Emily Humphrey-Krigbaum
Homeless Support Specialist


Support Services for Youth & Families

Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence qualify for McKinney-Vento (homeless) services. This includes:

  • Sharing the housing of others due to economic hardship (doubled up)
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations.
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Living in a public or private place not designated for humans to live
  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children living in above circumstances
  • Unaccompanied youth (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian)

All homeless students have the right to:

  • School stability – remain at their “school of origin”
  • Immediate enrollment – even without required registration documents
  • Transportation – to “school of origin” if requested
  • Free school meals – all homeless students automatically qualify

Contact a Homeless Program Coordinator to determine if your child is McKinney-Vento eligible and/or to request services.


Informational Resources

For more information about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations, refer to the following documents:

National Homeless Resources


Community Resource Guide

Visit our Community Resource page for information on where to find additional support services in Whatcom County.