Bellingham Public Schools

Homeless Support Program


Department Owner: 

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
360.676.6523
roxana.parise@bellinghamschools.org

Sarah Simpson
Homeless Support Specialist
360.676.6524
sarah.simpson@bellinghamschools.org

Information for Parents/Guardians/Youth

Who qualifies for McKinney-Vento (homeless) services?  Children who lack a fixed,regular, and adequate nighttime residence:

  • 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 accomodations
  • 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 livingin above circumstances
  • Unaccompanied youth (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian)
  • Children awaiting foster care placement

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"
  • Free school meals - all homeless students automatically qualify
    (click here for a complete list of services a homeless student is eligible to receive)

Contact a Homeless Program Coordinator to determine if your child is McKinney-Vento eligible and/or to request services.  The Bellingham School District's Homeless Program Coordinators are Roxana Parise 360.676.6523 and Sarah Simpson 360.676.6524

State Homeless Resources 

National Homeless Resources

  • NAEHCY - National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth is a voice and social conscience for the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.  NAEHCY accomplishes this through advocacy, partnerships, and education.
  • NCHE - National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education.
  • National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty - Lawyers working to end homelessness.
  • National Network for Youth - is working to create a community of agencies, people and resources to champion the needs of homeless and runaway youth, to ensure that opportunities for growth and development be available to youth everywhere.

 Click here to see our list of Community Resources.