The North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP) is the Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program for the state of North Carolina. In January 2009, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction contracted with The SERVE Center at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
NCHEP is dedicated to ensuring that all children and youth experiencing homelessness have access to the public education to which they are entitled under the federal McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act. NCHEP works towards this goal by ensuring that North Carolina’s state policies are in compliance with federal law, by providing technical assistance to North Carolina’s local homeless education liaisons, and by providing informational and awareness materials to educators and other interested community members throughout North Carolina.

During the 2018-2019 school year, North Carolina public schools reported that 34,725* students enrolled in grades K-12  experienced homelessness during the school year.

*Based on latest official national unduplicated data.

The chart depicts national data counts that have been unduplicated and aggregated during federal processing. Students will only be counted once within each state.

The following data charts and graphs are generated from state-level data. Homeless children and youth are highly mobile and may attend school in more than one school district; therefore, at the state level there  may be some duplication across Local Education Agencies.

While the majority of NC K-12 students experiencing homelessness live in the more populous regions of the State, both urban and rural regions face unique challenges in identifying and serving the educational needs of these students.

The majority of NC K-12 students identified as homeless live in doubled-up situations (sharing housing). Families living doubled up are often confined to one room and are frequently asked to leave without notice. They may live in fear of causing a problem for their host, knowing that they could be kicked out at any time. Children and youth often do not have space to study and cannot get sufficient rest due to overcrowding or stress; thus, they may not be prepared to perform well in school. 

During the 2018-2019SY, 34,725 students were identified as experiencing homelessness. Within that total count, 16.34% had a qualifying disability, while 5.97% were English as second language speakers.  Only 0.49% of the total student count were also identified as being migrant.

Approximately 9.5% of students who are experiencing homelessness as reported annually by NC PK-12 public schools are unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY). 

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth are those children and youth who experience homelessness (lack a fixed, regular, and adequate residence) and are unaccompanied (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian).  

To learn more about educating homeless children and youth in North Carolina, view the video Educating Homeless Children and Youth in North Carolina. In this video, students, families and educators share  stories of the real struggles students face, as well, as some of the challenges educators encounter in trying to support the academic success of these students. 

National Data on the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY)

North Carolina State Data Map from the National Data on the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY).

The Federal Data Summary School Years 2016-17 to 2018-19: Education for Homeless Children and Youth report reflects data presentation and trends for which the U.S. Department of Education has collected annual performance data from all states for the Education for  Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program since 2005.