Is there a time limit on how long a child or youth can be considered homeless?

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No, there is no specific time limit on homelessness. Whether a child or youth meets the definition of homelessness depends upon the living situation and the individual circumstances. It is a case-specific inquiry. Due to the extremely limited incomes of most families experiencing homelessness (on average, less than half the federal poverty line) and the severe shortage of affordable housing across the country, experiences of homelessness can sometimes last an extended period of time. It is important to distinguish between questions of eligibility (i.e., does the family or youth meet the legal definition of homelessness?) and questions of school selection (i.e., is it the child or youth's best interest to continue attending his or her school of origin?). Families or youth may be homeless for extended periods of time, during the course of which best interest factors may change, depending on specific factors related to their education and housing situation.