That depends on who you ask. According to the Washington State McKinney Vento Guidelines, yes, it is. Many programs will not consider a person homeless if they are not literally sleeping in the street. For example, the Federal Guidelines for many programs not only require sleeping on the street, or in a car the night before, but the client must also be over 18. This means that many of the students we help are not even eligible for programs because of their age. The State of Washington also requires that a parent or Guardian be notified if a child under 18 is at a shelter for more than 72 hours. Oftentimes this is traumatizing for both the student and the parent. Three days is not enough time to resolve whatever conflict may have driven the child to the street. The following short video from the National Network for Youth illustrates the problem for families and youth today.
Fortunately, we at Washington Masonic Charites are partnering with our local McKinney Vento Liaisons and Local Lodges to help make sure that our youth are not homeless. We are working diligently to ensure that these students know that Masons Care.
For more information about how your Lodge can support Youth please contact Kirsten@MasonsCare.org
To learn how to support our efforts click here