McKinney-Vento Initiative

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.; hereafter the McKinney-Vento Act) ensures that children experiencing homelessness have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, and related services as their permanently housed peers so that they have an equal opportunity to meet the same challenging academic standards. The Act requires State educational agencies (SEAs) and school districts to remove barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success in school of students experiencing homelessness [42 U.S.C. § 11431(2)]. The Act also emphasizes collaboration and parent participation as critical to the educational success of students experiencing homelessness.


However, funding for the McKinney-Vento Act beyond Title I employee salaries and small grants to support students for local school systems fall short of student needs. Lumber River United Way created this initiative to fill the gaps in students' needs so that attending school is as normal as possible.


United Way staff works hand in hand with Bladen and Robeson County Schools McKinney-Vento liaisons, school counselors, and school nurses to identify students' needs beyond what the school system may provide.  

McKinney-Vento Initiative

      The mission of Lumber River United Way’s McKinney Vento Initiative is to provide the following:

  • Tackling systemic change in Bladen, Hoke, and Robeson County schools. Targeting the root causes of social issues (in this case homeless students) instead of directly tackling the issue (educational achievement).
  • Provide daily needs for overlooked homeless students
  • Provide cultural and education opportunities beyond school
  • Breakdown barriers to provide normalcy at school
united way hands

McKinney Vento Data:

Public Schools of Robeson County                 

2019/20 = 170

2020/21 = 77

2021/22 = 244             

2022/23 = 340 (as of December 2023)            


Bladen County Public Schools

2019/21 = 35

2020/21 = 86

2021/22 = 131

2022/23 = 144 (as of February 2024)


Hoke County Public Schools

2021/22 = 104

2022/23 = 61 (as of December 2023)


The number of homeless students in our public schools is constantly growing. The McKinney-Vento Initiative has provided substantial awareness in our communities. Local, state, and national partners/vendors we never imagined have provided supplies and materials. Momentum for this initiative is on our side and we will continue to collaborate with community partners to address the needs.

Have Questions?  Tomeika Munn, Director of Community Impact.