Youth who are experiencing homelessness have special rights under a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. This law defines homelessness broadley. You qualify for its protections if you have no consistent, appropriate place to stay.
This includes youth who are "doubled up" with other youth or families due to economic hardship; "couch surfing"; living in a car, motel, camping grounds, trailer park, or sleeping outdoors or in a public place; or living in a shelter.
The law protects youth who have run away from home, been thrown out of their home, been abandoned by parents or guardians, or separated from their parents for any other reason. These youths are called "unaccompanied homeless youth".
Youth who are in temporary foster care placements also qualify. This includes children who are placed through the child welfare system in shelters, emergency foster care placements, transitional foster care or respite care or a placement for purposes of evaluation. (Juvenile Law Center)