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Foster Care & Homeless Services

Abilene ISD Families in Foster Care/Homeless Services Provides the Following Services
  • Enrollment Assistance
  • Free Breakfast/Lunch
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Coats/Jackets
  • Wash This Way Vouchers
  • Laundry soap
  • Bus Passes
  • Varsity Tutors
  • Books
  • School Supplies
  • Backpacks
  • Hygiene Items and Hygiene Packs
  • Mental Health Referrals
  • Medical/Dental Referrals
  • Emergency Food (see attached Pantry list)
  • Help Obtaining Birth Certificates/SS cards/ID’s
  • Baby Items
  • Blankets
  • Facilitate Communicate Between Schools/Families
  • Referrals to Community Agencies.
Eligibility -- Who is covered by the McKinney-Vento Act (Homeless)?

Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including:

  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
  • Living in hotels/motels, RV parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations
  • Living in transitional housing as part of a program with a time limit & continual case management while transitioning into stable housing-DOES NOT include HUD.
  • Living in substandard housing with no windows/doors, running water, heat, electricity, or gas
  • Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live, such as tents, cars, parks, bus/train stations or abandoned buildings.
  • Unaccompanied minors living without a parent or legal guardian.

      Homeless students may attend one of two schools:

  • School of Origin: School the child/youth attended when permanently housed or school in which the child/youth last enrolled-DOES apply to feeder patterns.
  • Local Attendance Zone School: Any public school that non-homeless students living in the attendance zone in which the child/youth is actually living are eligible to attend.
  • Best Interest: In determining the best interest, the local educational agency shall to the extent feasible, keep a homeless child or youth in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian.
School Enrollment
  • Homeless children have the right to enroll immediately, even if they do not have the required documents.
  • If a student does not have immunizations OR immunization/medical records, the liaison must assist with obtaining them and the student must be enrolled in the interim. They have 30 days to supply records or begin the course of immunizations.
  • Enrolling schools obtain school records from the previous school.
  • Children and youth who are homeless must be enrolled immediately in any school open to other children living in the same neighborhood.
  • Immediate enrollment includes attending classes and participating fully in all school activities.
  • Texas law agrees that enrollment of homeless students is not dependent on the residency of the parent or guardian. Tx Ed Code 25.001 (b)(5)
  • Immediate enrollment in school applies even if no parent or guardian is present.
    • Texas law allows youth to enroll in school on their own, as long as they are not in the district primarily to participate in extracurricular activities and not expelled/no current delinquent/criminal conduct. Tx Ed Code 25.001 (b)(4), (d)
  • Students in homeless situations should NOT be required to fill out “dual residency” forms, have any time of residency documents notarized (i.e., letters from the host family they are staying with), or provide any proof of residency.

Unaccompanied youth must be allowed to enroll in their School of Origin or their attendance zone school even if they do not have a parent or guardian present and do not have the required documentation. They must be allowed to enroll if they report they are “couch surfing” or living with a friend or family member. The adult they are living with DOES NOT have to be present in order to enroll the child.

Contact Us

Darrin Cox
Homeless/Foster Care Liaison

Heather Melchor
High School Social Worker
Ext. 7504

Francesca Barnett
Middle School Family Advocate
Ext. 5764

Natasha Tucker
Academic Advisor
Ext. 8332

Liz Mendoza
Resource Assistant
Ext. 5804

Student Residency Questionnaire (English/Espanol)
Emergency & Referral Numbers

Adult Protective Services: 1-800-252-5400/325-795-5755
Alcohol & Drug Help Line: 1-800-821-4357
Abilene Police Department Emergency Line: 911
Abilene Police Department Non-Emergency Line: 1-806-378-303
Pregnancy Resources of Abilene: 325-672-6415, 2110 N. Willis St. Suite A, 79603
National Human Trafficking Hotline:  1-888-373-7888
or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
Child Find of America: 1-806-426-5678 (To locate runaways and child abduction victims)
Child Protective Services: 1-800-252-5400/(Local) 325-691-8100
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: 800-843-5678
National Parent Help Line: 1-855-427-2736
National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-786-2929
Regional Victim Crisis Center: 325-677-7895 (24-hour Crisis Hotline)
Texas Missing Person Clearinghouse Helpline: 1-800-346-3243
Abilene Professional Center: 325-630-1313 (Behavioral and Counseling Services)
Texas Runaway Hotline: 1-800-989-6884
Texas Youth Hotline: 800-210-2278
Texas Youth Hotline 24-hour help: 1-888-679-0573
Texas Youth Hotline Text for help: 1-888-679-0573
United Way Help Line: 211

Abilene Independent School District McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program
P. O. Box 981 Abilene, TX 79604
Information for Parents and School-Aged Children