Merrymeeting Support Collaborative for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Our Merrymeeting Support Collaborative for Youth Experiencing Homelessness (“MSCYEH”) provides stability to youth experiencing homelessness through a regional network of support, increasing student attendance, and academic success while supporting social-emotional health. MSCYEH includes MSAD 75 & RSU 1 (Sagadahoc County) along with MYC, located in Bath.

Donna Verhoeven, Youth Outreach Coordinator, works with children and youth up to age 24 experiencing homelessness throughout Sagadahoc County, Brunswick & Harpswell.

With office hours at Midcoast Youth Center, and at schools within RSU 1 and MSAD 75, Donna assists youth with:

For Maine Youth & Families

Donna Verhoeven

Donna Verhoeven (she/her/hers)

Youth Outreach Coordnator

(207) 751-5738

What is the McKinney-Vento Act?

The federal McKinney-Vento Act serves to protect children's educational rights during times of housing insecurity. Eligible youth are entitled to opportunities to eliminate barriers to their education.

Child's Rights Under the McKinney-Vento Act:

  • Free public education
  • Immediate enrollment into school
  • Continued enrollment at your school of origin
  • Transportation to and from school
  • School nutrition programs, including free and reduced lunch
You are eligible for the McKinney-Vento service if you live in any of the following situations:
  • Emergency or transitional shelters
  • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, etc.
  • Cars, parks, public spaces, substandard housing, abandoned buildings, or similar settings
  • Motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate housing

Did you know?

A minor may give consent to all medical, mental, dental and other health counseling and services if the minor is living separately from parents or legal guardians and is independent of parental support.

The minor may prove that status with documentation including, but not limited to a written statement from a nonprofit homeless services agency, local educational agency McKinney-Vento homeless liaison, or attorney.

Pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. §22:1503

For More Information: School House Connection and Maine State Legislature

Resources for Youth Experiencing Housing Insecurity

Preble Street’s Mobile Diversion and Navigation program works with youth and young adults ages 12-24 to rapidly resolve episodes of, or potential episodes of, homelessness through connection to short- and long-term resources, mediation, financial assistance, and supportive services. Eligible youth and young adults include those who are currently experiencing homelessness, at imminent risk of becoming homeless or are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence and have minimal options for support.  

Our work can look like a one-time contact to meet an immediate need to prevent homelessness such as a tank of gas to get to a place to stay, a bus ticket, or real-time safety planning to come up with a diversion plan from shelter and streets that temporarily maintains safety. And-- Our work can also look like an up to 3-month casework intervention that involves ongoing contact, safety planning, and "band-aiding" to continue to creatively use resources and community connections to maintain a young person in their home community or community of choice, while concurrently connecting to longer-term service providers. 

Mobile Diversion & Navigation Referral Form

MaineCare Eligibility Guidelines

Department of Health and Human Services

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (VOA)

The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) pairs unaccompanied youth and young adults who are experiencing literal or imminent homelessness or fleeing domestic violence, with stable housing through the use of a Housing Choice Voucher.

Referral Lead Sheet  |  Brochure

Housing Resources for Youth

The Host Home Program provides youths with the opportunity to obtain safe, stable, housing in their own community.

School-Age Youth Informational Poster

Informational Poster about McKinney-Vento for School-Age Youth

Parents Informational Poster

Informational Poster about McKinney-Vento for Parents

Informational Poster

McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

School House Connection

Overcoming Homelessness


National Association for the Education of Homeless Children & Youth


The National Center for Homeless Education 

Maine Educators, do you have students who may have unstable housing?

RSU 1 McKinney-Vento Liason

Katie Joseph, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Superintendent

Regional School Unit 1
34 Wing Farm Parkway Bath, ME 04530

(207) 443-6601

MSAD75 McKinney-Vento Liason

Amanda Hersey, Ed.D. (she/her/hers)
Assistant Superintendent MSAD 75


207-729-9961 ext. 1014

Maine DOE McKinney-Vento Liason

Amelia Lyons, (she/her/hers)
McKinney-Vento, Migrant Education Program
Maine Department of Education
(207) 557-1787