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Homeless Education

Homeless Education Liaison (K-12):  Sue Runkle
Phone: (406) 281-6719
Email: runkles@billingsschools.org
                  
The Homeless Education Program at Billings Public Schools is located at Washington Elementary School, 1044 Cook Ave.  
 
The purpose of our program is to ensure that all homeless students have the same equal access to a free and appropriate education.


How do we determine if a child is homeless?

Under the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a child may be classified as homeless using the following definition:
 

The term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes those individuals:

 

  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship (two or more families living in a home)
  • Living in motels/hotels due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Living in cars, tents or abandoned buildings  
  • Living in campgrounds or cars
  • Living in substandard housing (lacks electricity or running water)
  • Unaccompanied youth (not living in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian and lacking a regular, fixed, nighttime residence) 

 
If you are a parent/guardian or a student in need of assistance you may contact the building principal or the district's Homeless Education Liaison. 


Educational rights for students experiencing homelessness

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived here.
  • Continue in the school they attended before they became homeless or the school they last attended, if that is the parent's or youth's choice and is feasible.
  • Receive transportation to the school they attended before becoming homeless (school of origin).
  • Enroll in school without a permanent address.
  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other document required for enrollment.
  • Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children or youths served in these programs. 
  • Attend school with children not experiencing homelessness; segregation based on a student's status as homeless is prohibited.

If you would like to review policies regarding homelessness for Billings Public Schools, choose a topic below. 


Resources

Local Assistance:

  • Montana Rescue Mission Women's & Family Shelter, 2520 1st Ave. North, 259-3105
  • Office of Public Assistance, 111 North 31st Street, 237-0520
  • Housing Authority, 2415 1st Ave. North, 245-6391
  • Family Service, Inc., 1824 1st Ave. North, 259-2269
  • St. Vincent DePaul Society, 2610 Montana Avenue, 248-1411
  • Community Crisis Center, 704 30th St. North, 259-8800

 
Healthcare for the Homeless:

  • Montana Rescue Mission, 2822 Minnesota Ave., 259-6079 - Monday & Wednesday 7 am - 10 am; Friday 7 am - 11 am
  • Women & Family Shelter, 2520 1st Ave. North, 259-3105 - Tuesday & Thursday 1 pm - 4:30 pm
  • The HUB, 515 North 27th Street, 248-4803 - Wednesday 1 pm - 4 pm
  • RiverStone Health Clinic, 123 South 27th St., 247-3350 - Monday - Thursday 8 am - 7 pm; Friday 8 am - 5 pm