Youth & Liaison Support

No one knows the challenges and barriers of homelessness better than youth who have experienced homelessness, service providers, and McKinney-Vento liaisons who work with them. We regularly interface with these groups by coordinating a McKinney-Vento Liaison Council, which brings together liaisons from across Texas to learn about what they are seeing in schools, and engaging with youth who are experiencing homelessness themselves by participating in group meetings like Youth Voices Empowered out of Houston. We also provide both of these groups with important resources and information, including trainings. From their feedback, we also have created materials to help them access resources, and understand legal and policy changes. This includes a poster aimed at preventing trafficking, as well as a poster to explain how to get a free driver’s license or ID document.

Team Members

Headshot of Brett Merfish

Brett M. Merfish

Director of Youth Justice,
Youth Homelessness Project, Juvenile Justice Project

Headshot of Martin Martinez

Martin A. Martinez, M.P.Aff

Senior Policy Analyst,
Youth Homelessness Project, Juvenile Justice Project

Key Statistics

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1 Act

Under the McKinney-Vento Federal Act, every school district in the county is required to have a McKinney-Vento Liaison. These liaisons are tasked with identifying youth who are homeless, coordinating services that they need to succeed in school, and ensuring they have access to basic resources like school supplies. 

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113,000+ students

During the 2014-2015 school year, Texas school districts identified 113,294 students as homeless — a conservative number at the time.