The Time Is Right: Washington Is Ready to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness

Our Executive Director, Jim Theofelis, has dedicated his life to helping young people, as an advocate, a clinician and a leader in the movement to reform foster care and end youth and young adult homelessness. In this four-part series, Jim shares why he believes Washington state is poised to end youth and young adult homelessness, and what solutions he believes will make the greatest impact. 

During my forty years on the front lines serving youth and young adults, it’s been my stubborn belief in solutions that’s kept me going. I’ve had some sobering moments, like attending the funerals of young people who did not survive the horrors of homelessness, and moments of great hope, like – pardon the repetition – passing the HOPE Act and founding The Mockingbird Society.

The Mockingbird Society Network Representatives Jonathan Hemphill, Avrey Tuttle and Farid Rasuli join Jim to celebrate the 2019 legislative session

 

After all these ups and downs, these past few years launching A Way Home Washington and the Anchor Community Initiative have convinced me that we’re at a unique and promising point in time to end youth and young adult homelessness in Washington. I’ve seen policymakers, service providers, philanthropy, government agencies, business leaders – in short, entire communities – rally around our collective North Star: making sure no young person is forced to sleep outside or in unsafe conditions. And I’ve seen young people’s voices at the center of the movement, advocating for their peers, co-creating initiatives and sharing in decision-making. We’re all on this journey together and ending youth and young adult homelessness is in our reach.

Now, some may say, Jim’s always been a hopeless optimist – he’s not even talking about all the challenges we’re facing! But I’ve learned a thing or two in these forty years, and I know the harsh realities that we’re up against. Cycles of intergenerational poverty keep families from the opportunities and resources they need to provide young people stable homes. Systemic racism pervades every aspect of our society and leads us to fail young people of color, who disproportionately experience homelessness. Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community leads support networks to turn their backs on LGBTQ+ young people in need.

Yes, these structural issues need to be addressed to create a system where no young person is left without safe, stable housing and a path forward. But these challenges are not new and they’re not unique to Washington state. What is new and unique to Washington state is the widespread commitment to young people from all the key players who need to collaborate on a solution to youth and young adult homelessness. Right now, we have our governor, our legislature, philanthropy and communities around the state aligned around our North Star. Most importantly,  young people with lived experience of homelessness are at the table as decision makers and leaders. These courageous young people are advocating for themselves, their peers and the young children who don’t even know they may one day face homelessness.

I believe in solutions that create systemic, structural and sustainable change. I have every reason to believe that we are rising to the occasion and pursuing these solutions. Over my next few posts, I’ll explain what it means for a solution to create systemic, structural and sustainable change, and share some examples I see of solutions that meet these criteria. Until then, I hope I’ve shared at least a little bit of my optimism with you that together, we will end youth and young adult homelessness.

Behind the Scenes: Why Quality Data Matters

Every day, the Anchor Community Initiative is working towards a singular goal – preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness in four communities by the end of 2022. In our Behind the Scenes series, we give you a sneak peek into the Anchor Communities’ work. Today, our Data Manger, Liz, takes us into the world of quality data.

From the moment we launched the Anchor Community Initiative, we’ve known that preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness is a big job. Each of the Anchor Communities is committed to using a tried and true model, Community Solutions’ Built for Zero, to make it across the finish line.

Communities around the country have ended veteran and chronic homelessness by following the Built for Zero model, and it all starts with achieving quality, real-time data. The reason is simple: to quickly house and support youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, communities need to know how many young people are experiencing homelessness, who they are and what their needs are. Only once communities have access to this real-time information can they truly measure the effectiveness of their reduction strategies and know whether these strategies are reducing disproportionality for populations overrepresented in the data.

To achieve quality, real-time data, communities create a By-Name List – essentially a list of all unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in the community. The data in a quality By-Name List is:

  • Full coverage. The By-Name List includes ALL unaccompanied youth and young adults between the ages of 12-24 experiencing homelessness, including those who are unsheltered, in time-limited housing and doubled-up/couch surfing. For this to be true, the community must have a documented outreach strategy that covers 100% of their geography and effective data-sharing protocols with all agencies and programs in the community.
  • Reliable. The number of unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness fluctuates as young people enter and exit the system. Reliable data balances like a checkbook – the community’s actively homeless number accurately captures any entry to or exit from the system.
  • Regularly updated. A By-Name List should allow communities to accurately report the number of unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness at any given time. The By-Name List should be updated monthly at a minimum to truly provide real-time information.
  • Person-level. A By-Name List not only provides the number of unaccompanied youth and young adults, it includes a name or unique identifier for every person on the list. Each row of the list is an actual youth or young adult experiencing homelessness, including information like the person’s name, demographics, history and housing needs. This person-level data ensures that no youth or young adults fall through the cracks since communities can follow young people through the system.

While quality, real-time data may sound like a very technical concept at first, most of us have experience looking at it to make decisions in our daily lives. For example, when we make financial decisions, we may look at bank statements that show every time money moves in or out of our account. We wouldn’t look at a year-old bank statement to make a decision because it would not be an accurate portrayal of our current financial situation. In the same way, data about youth and young adult homelessness changes over time, so we cannot rely on static, yearly estimates to make decisions about how to best serve young people. Instead, we need data that portrays a full picture of the current situation at any given time.

We owe it to our young people to know the REAL number of unaccompanied youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness at any given moment. Once communities achieve quality, real-time data, they can advocate for appropriate levels of prevention, diversion and long-term housing resources to build and sustain a “Yes to Yes” system that is ready to respond anytime a young person needs help.

Our June Reading Picks

On any given week at A Way Home Washington, we’re sharing reading and viewing recommendations with each other that keep us inspired and make us think. From reports that deepen our understanding of youth and young adult homelessness to videos that broaden our perspective, our staff is always eager to learn. We thought we’d share some our favorites with all of you each month! And we’re always looking for new recommendations – what’s on your reading list this month?

Dorothy’s Pick: Stonewall Forever

Stonewall Forever is an interactive site that tells the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and continues into the present. Collections of videos tell stories about crucial moments before, during and after the Stonewall Riots, and visitors can add their own stories and experiences. The monument’s living, evolving nature honors the activists that started the movement and reminds us that our journey towards LGBTQ+ equity continues.

Jim’s Pick: Chapin Hall “Missed Opportunities” Report

The “Missed Opportunities in Youth Pathways Through Homelessness” report draws insights from the 215 in-depth interviews conducted by Chapin Hall as part of the Voices of Youth Count project. The report highlights the intersection of personal, relational and structural conditions that contribute to a young person’s path to homelessness and identifies key policy changes that can help address these critical conditions early on to prevent homelessness. The personal narratives woven through the report remind us that behind each data point, there is a young person who needs our support.

Liz’s Pick: Abigail Echo-Hawk on the art and science of ‘decolonizing data’

Data that marks Native Americans and Alaska Natives as “not statistically significant” or lumps these communities together with other racial groups contributes to the erasure of indigenous peoples. Echo-Hawk says it best: “When we are invisible in the data, we no longer exist.” The community needs to be involved in data collection, including deciding how the data will be gathered and how it will be used, for data to serve the community. This principle underscores why co-creating initiatives with young people with lived experience is critical to our work – and why we must continuously ask ourselves who is not at the table to fill those gaps.

Sully’s Pick: 21-Day Racial Equity Learning Challenge

Grounding our work in equity requires a commitment to ongoing and continuous learning. This list of 21 articles and videos is a great way to incorporate learning and reflecting about racial equity into our daily routines. The topics range from explanations of fundamental concepts like unconscious bias to actionable guidelines for confronting racism in our daily lives, and touch on both interpersonal and systemic racism.

Community Spotlight: Meaningful Youth and Young Adult Engagement in Spokane

Youth and young adult (YYA) engagement is crucial to ending YYA homelessness. That is why our Anchor Community Initiative requires that two young people with lived experience participate in each community’s Core Team – and Spokane has met this milestone! We spoke to Jess Ausborn and Luke Grayson from the Spokane team to hear how they’ve worked towards this goal.

Luke (left) and Jess (right)

Jess works at The Mockingbird Society and leads the Spokane Youth Advisory Board (YAB), and Luke is a young person who participates in the Spokane Core Team. Jess has been really happy to see the same youth and young adults attend meetings, and Luke has appreciated how team members have stepped up as allies for the young people on the team.

“Being an ally means treating young people as equals and using your voice to stand up for us,” Luke said. “If someone calls us kids or uses the wrong pronouns, correct them.”

For Jess, achieving meaningful YYA engagement comes down to building relationships. They’ve found that simple (but important) gestures like learning young people’s pronouns can go a long way, and that including young people in decision-making helps them feel heard and invested in the process. Like a true ally, Jess insists that others take the same care when interacting with young people.

“I am humbled every day that I’m allowed into the personal lives of the young people I serve,” Jess said. “It is awesome to see their confidence grow and to see them speak up in meetings.”

Building meaningful and authentic relationships with YYA takes time and commitment. Jess and Luke have three guiding principles for teams and organizations that are just getting started on this journey:

  1. Respect: Be mindful of your actions and demeanor when interacting with young people. Pay attention when young people speak and be thoughtful about your contributions to the discussion.
  2. Accountability: Mistakes happen. If we realize we’ve done something wrong or someone points out we’ve made a mistake – like using the wrong pronoun – we simply need to apologize and make a conscious effort to avoid the same mistake in the future.
  3. Empathy: For YYA with lived experience, life circumstances can further complicate the difficult times we all go through as young people. Be understanding when these difficulties impact how young people show up in the room and create spaces where young people feel comfortable bringing their whole selves. Young people with lived experience and young people of color may feel that they need to monitor themselves to keep from coming off as “loud” or “angry.”

Including young people with lived experience in our teams is essential to arriving at effective solutions. Young people who have experienced homelessness are uniquely qualified to speak on what young people need. As our teams work towards achieving quality, real-time data, young people’s input is crucial when it comes to shaping outreach, evaluating ease of access to systems of care and approaching YYA in a culturally appropriate way.

Celebrating the Legislative Session Together

The 2019 legislative session gave us many reasons to celebrate. From full funding for the Anchor Community Initiative to ending juvenile detention for non-criminal offenses, the legislature delivered victory after victory for youth and young adults. Our hearts are full, so we decided to spread the cheer with a celebration for the elected officials and youth advocates that made it all possible.

You can watch the full livestream of the celebration here, or enjoy the highlights:

First Lady Trudi Inslee inspired everyone to keep up the good work with a rousing speech. We are truly grateful to have a steadfast advocate in Mrs. Inslee and appreciate all the work she does to keep young people front and center.

“Washington is in a unique position to make a meaningful impact on ending youth and young adult homelessness thanks to programs like the Anchor Community Initiative.”

 

Sarah Spier, from our Spokane Anchor Community, highlighted how important it is for different systems of care to work together.

“The Anchor Community Initiative has helped us come together and use our resources intentionally to create a community where no young person has to live without stable housing.”

 

Roel Williams, Peer Advisor for A Way Home Washington, reiterated the importance of organizations like The Mockingbird Society and A Way Home Washington to give young people the support they need to thrive.

“The Mockingbird Society’s continued push to advocate for bills that positively impact young people and the visionary Anchor Community Initiative are putting us on the path to end youth homelessness.”

 

And finally, we presented awards to key partners who have been instrumental in advocating for youth and young adults.

Representative Chopp, for 20 years of service as Speaker
The Mockingbird Society, for leadership on SB 5290
Laurie Lippold, for her continued advocacy and leadership

 

We can’t end this post without expressing our deep gratitude to each and every one of our supporters. You keep the movement going, and every step we take towards ending youth and young adult homelessness is only possible because of your commitment. Thank you for everything you do!

From all our staff, thank you! Images courtesy of Michael B. Maine.

Session Highlights: Funding and Expanding Services for Youth and Young Adults

The 2019 legislative session included many topics that directly impact our vision of preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness. With so many important issues at stake, the A Way Home Washington team was a constant presence at our state capitol. We brought in our Anchor Community teams for an Advocacy Day and even spent a snow day in Olympia.

Our Executive Director, Jim, and Advocacy Coordinator, Matt

 

We were humbled to see an outpouring of support for young people from partner organizations and legislators, and we are proud of the young people who bravely advocated for their peers. Here’s what we accomplished together in the 2019 legislative session:

  • The Office of Homeless Youth (OHY) was funded at the $8.5 million level. This includes $4 million for the Anchor Community Initiative, our flagship project, and $1.25 million for the Arlington Drive Youth Campus. Anchor Community Initiative funds will be split evenly between Pierce County, Spokane, Yakima and Walla Walla for these communities to invest in services for youth and young adults.
  • The Washington Youth and Families Fund and the Homeless Student Stability Program maintained their base funding of $4 million each. The Homeless Student Stability Program received an additional $157,000. 
  • The Senate passed SB 5290, eliminating juvenile detention for non-criminal offenses, such as truancy and running away. Youth are less likely to come forward and request the services they need when they fear the possibility of detention. Now, youth will be able to request these services without fear.
  • The House passed HB 1657, expanding access to HOPE Center beds and requiring at least two youth representatives on the Office of Homeless Youth Advocacy Committee. This provides youth experiencing homelessness additional service options and fosters a youth-centered approach to our work.

     

    Governor Inslee signs HB 1657

     

    These legislative victories position our state closer to preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness. We are deeply thankful to every person who elevated the issue during the legislative session, especially to all the advocates who showed up at the capitol and all the legislators who did right by our young people. We also want to give a special thank you to  Advocacy Coordinator for the 2019 legislative session, Matt Kanter, who brought innovation and passion to our advocacy efforts. What were your favorite moments from the 2019 legislative session?

2018 Legislative Session Has Started

January 8th was the start of the 2018 legislative session in Washington. A Way Home Washington (AWHWA) will be a strong leader and an advocate on youth and young adult homelessness in Olympia. We look forward to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to pass landmark legislation and secure the necessary funding to strengthen families and support young people who are homeless.

The 2018 session is a short one, running just 60 days. In that time period, legislators will face many tough items on their agenda, including passing the capital budget and fully funding public schools. However, we are confident that members will carve out time to consider and pass proposals that will work towards our goal of ending youth homelessness in Washington.

With our partners and the state’s Office of Homeless Youth, we have developed a bold legislative agenda that, if passed, will take substantive steps to help homeless youth across the state. Thanks to the 100-Day Challenges we helped run in Pierce, Spokane, and King Counties, we now have even more on-the-ground knowledge about what it takes to connect youth and young adults to stable housing.

We will continue to update this agenda throughout the course of legislative session. Sign up to receive our newsletter, and please share it widely with your network!

2018 Legislative Agenda

ENSURE THAT ALL YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS HAVE A SAFE AND STABLE PLACE TO GO

  • Family in Need of Services (FINS) Petitions: Consolidate and expand existing laws to strengthen families in crisis and make it easier for at-risk youth to acquire temporary shelter while the state evaluates their home living situation.
  • Extended Foster Care (SB 6222 / HB 2330): Expand eligibility so that all 18-21-year-olds have access to safe housing.

STRENGTHEN STATEWIDE SYSTEMS OF CARE

  • Better Data on Youth Homelessness: Allow minors to voluntarily consent to have their data entered into public systems to ensure accurate information that drives the development of policies, services, system evaluation and innovation.

INCREASE FUNDING FOR KEY PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT HOMELESS YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS

  • Family Counseling and Support: Funding for the Office of Homeless Youth to establish programs for families to access counseling and reduce likelihood of runaways and homelessness.
  • Hope Centers, Crisis Residential Centers, and Responsible Living Skills Programs: Increase number of emergency beds across the state.
  • Capital Budget: Pass the capital budget to support projects that serve youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

All Lead Agenda items support and align with the Office of Homeless Youth’s Strategic Plan.

SUPPORTING AGENDA

  • Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC): Change state law so that minors can not be charged with the crime of prostitution and create safe and innovative treatment programs.
  • of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) Implementation: Support the expansion and implementation of the new state department.

A Way Home Washington also supports the legislative agendas of the Washington Coalition for Homeless Youth Advocacy (WACHYA), the Child Welfare Advocacy Coalition (CWAC), and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (WLIHA).

We have numbers: national estimates for youth homelessness in America

By Jim Theofelis, A Way Home Washington

For years, youth homelessness advocacy has been held back by the lack of reliable data showing the true scope of the problem. Without actual numbers, it’s difficult to determine what we definitively need to solve youth homelessness – and it is solvable.

This week, that changed. The University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall released the first results of a long-awaited study called the Voices of Youth Count. This study provides the first ever academically defensible numbers for youth homelessness in America.

With these numbers, A Way Home Washington and our partners in the state and across the country finally have real statistics that we can point to about the pervasive problem of youth and young adult homelessness.

Some of the key findings include:

  • An estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness in our country in a given year. That’s 1 in 10 of 18-25 year-olds and 1 in 30 of 13-17 year-olds.
  • This is equally a rural and an urban problem.
  • Youth of color, pregnant and parenting youth, and LGBTQ+ youth experience homelessness at a higher rate

Click here to read more about Voices of Youth Count and see the full report.

The national data confirms what we’ve known on the state level. In Washington, youth and young adults are homeless in every county of the state, with about 13,000 accessing homeless services.

Chapin Hall provides many great national policy recommendations that we will be building on here in Washington with the state’s Office of Homeless Youth and our many partners. The recent 100 Day Challenges have shown us that young people will respond to outreach if a community has quality, safe services available, and that a focus on equity is critical given the disproportionate representation of youth of color and LGBTQ youth.

With the results from this study and the 100 Day Challenges in mind, we will continue to be in touch with news about our policy agenda for the 2018 Legislative Session and other new exciting programs. With your help, we can and will end youth homelessness in Washington.

Congratulations to the 100-Day Challenge Teams! Changing Lives and Systems

By Jim Theofelis, Executive Director

This week, I had the honor of joining teams from Spokane, Pierce, and King counties to celebrate the conclusion of the 100-Day Challenges – a collaborative effort to connect youth and young adults with stable housing over a period of 100 days. We launched these Challenges in April because we knew that it was an important moment in time – Washington state was paying attention to youth homelessness in a way it never had before. We wanted to channel this momentum and rethink how we support young people who are struggling.

On August 9th and 10th, teams met in Spokane for the Sustainability Review, an opportunity to mark the end of the Challenges and look ahead beyond Day 101 – ensuring the good work that was done will continue to deliver real results for Washington’s youth.

I am so proud of the dedication and courage that the 100-Day team members displayed, and the remarkable local leadership that supported the teams’ work in each region.

Altogether, teams housed 615 young people across the three communities.

  • In Spokane, 109 youth and young adults were connected to housing, with a focus on those who face substantial barriers.
  • In Pierce County, 176 youth and young adults found housing options, many who are disproportionately affected by homelessness, including young people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
  • In King County, 330 youth and young adults were aided in finding housing – the most in any Challenge to date across the country. Seventy-six percent of those housed were young people of color and/or identify as LGBTQ+.

You can find more information and dashboards charting the teams’ progress throughout the 100 days on our website. These data-rich dashboards allowed each team to track progress toward the milestones they set for their region.

When the teams came together to launch the Challenges in April, they intentionally set ambitious goals for how many youth and young adults they could house in 100 days. And they accomplished so much – forever changing the lives of 615 young people in Washington. But beyond the numbers, the core of the Challenges was the tremendous willpower and collaboration of these mission-driven and talented teams.

Here are just some of the top takeaways from the incredible work of our teams:

  • Teams from each of the three communities included young professionals who will become the next generation of system leaders.
  • All three teams brought in the ideas and perspectives of young adults who have experienced homelessness.
  • Each community experimented with new practices or changing policies and practices to remove barriers. Pierce County nonprofits, for example, provided phones to young people so they could be alerted when a bed became available, while also providing a stable mechanism for communication.
  • Communities focused on reaching, engaging, and supporting young people who face some of the hardest barriers, including youth of color and LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) youth – and they made great progress against this objective.

The teams’ work transformed lives and will go far in learning how to improve systems and processes so that all young people can find their way home.

I spoke with a young woman from King County who had previously found housing, but it was not the best fit, and she was worried about ending up homeless. She engaged with a local Host Home program and was connected with a safe, stable home. In Pierce County, a young man who had been suffering from addiction and mental health issues was aided by peer outreach workers who helped him find safe housing and begin his path to recovery. In Spokane, a young woman was connected to permanent and stable housing after spending much of her life cycling through foster homes and dealing with the effects of verbal and physical abuse (the Spokesman-Review chronicled her story in a recent article).

These stories are only a small sample of the deep and meaningful affect teams had on their communities throughout the Challenges.

In addition to the people and organizations that made up the three teams, these Challenges wouldn’t have been possible without the Rapid Results Institute, who provided coaching and mentorship, and the Raikes Foundation and Schultz Family Foundation, which offered financial support. I can’t thank them enough for believing in our teams and our mission and for being such fierce champions over these 100 days.

Beyond the hundreds of young people who were housed over these 100 days, lessons learned and insight gained during the Challenges will inform the path forward to ensure every young person has a safe and stable place to call home. A Way Home Washington will be sharing more detailed analysis and findings from the 100-Day Challenges later this fall.

Together, we CAN prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness in Washington state – and these 100 days proved progress is real and happening across this great state. Let’s continue the momentum so all of Washington’s young people can find their way home.

2017 Legislative Session Outcomes

 

Washington state’s 2017 legislative session was complicated by challenging political and fiscal dynamics. Governor Inslee called the Legislature back for three special sessions before members agreed on a state budget, which the Governor signed on June 30th, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown.

Lawmakers were required to adopt a budget that would provide adequate funding for public schools per the state Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary Decision. To satisfy those expenses, advocates and stakeholders worried that funding for social services would be severely reduced.

Many of our supporters don’t often see what is required to protect existing policies and prevent changes that could put young people and families at risk. For the second year in a row, AWHWA faced major barriers related to differences of opinion about how to best meet the needs of youth (ages 12 through 17) and young adults (ages 18 through 24) who lack safe, stable housing.

AWHWA initially led advocacy efforts to pass HB 1630, which would have improved the quality of data on minors experiencing homelessness by giving them the option to report personally identifying information to the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). However, a key legislator added language in the Senate budget that would have denied youth services if they declined to share their information in HMIS. AWHWA responded quickly and was instrumental in playing defense, but as a consequence, the entire bill died. We also worked hard to protect specialized services for young adults, which were at risk of being combined with the system serving chronically homeless adults.

Despite these challenges and others, the final budget and a slate of new laws took important steps in the right direction.

The budget allocated $3.5 million to the state Office of Homeless Youth to support its programs. Funding will help prevent state systems of care from exiting youth and young adults to homelessness. Budget allocations will also help expand Crisis Residential Center and HOPE Center capacity to meet the immediate needs of youth experiencing homelessness.

Governor Inslee signed HB 1867 into law, which calls for an evaluation of Extended Foster Care and allows young adults to reenter the program once between the ages of 18 and 21. AWHWA and many advocates hope this will help prevent homelessness for young people transitioning out of the foster care system.

In addition, we are encouraged by the passage of HB 1661, which establishes a state Department of Children, Youth, and Families. This new agency will combine the efforts of the former Department of Early Learning, Children’s Administration, Juvenile Justice, and Juvenile Rehabilitation systems. We hope that the culture of innovation and emphasis on prevention fostered within the Department of Early Learning will be sustained in this new effort, supporting children, youth, and families to avoid crisis, housing instability, and homelessness.

AWHWA appreciated the support and dedication of our advocacy partners throughout the 2017 legislative sessions! Together we are working to build a statewide support system so that we can say “Yes!” to young people and families when they say, “Yes, I need help.”

For a more complete look at how AWHWA’s 2017 legislative priorities fared, please see the table below:

2017 Agenda Item

Session Outcome

Ensure that Youth Exiting Public Systems Have a Safe, Stable Place to Go

Establish interagency workgroup on youth homelessness

Accomplished – the interagency workgroup has been created and reports to the Governor

Pass HB 1867 to evaluate Extended Foster Care (EFC) and allow young adults to reenter 1 time

Signed into law on 5/10/17

$776,000 allocated in final budget to support additional EFC participants and fund an evaluation of the EFC program

Pass HB 1816 to improve admission practices for Crisis Residential Centers and HOPE Beds

Signed into law on 5/10/17

Invest in Crisis Intervention and Diversion from Homelessness

Improve and expand family reconciliation (FRS) and preservation (FPS) services

No money allocated in final budget for FRS

$2.616 million allocated in final budget for travel reimbursement for in-home FPS

Reform status offense laws

HB 1170 signed into law on 5/16/17

SB 5293 vetoed by Governor on 5/16/17

SB 5596 did not pass

SB 5563 did not pass

Improve Education and Employment Outcomes for Vulnerable Young People

Pass SB 5241 to improve high school graduation rates

Signed into law on 4/17/17

Fully implement the state Homeless Student Stability Program

Funding maintained

Designate a trained staff person in every public K-12 school to ID, support students experiencing homelessness and housing instability

No developments this session

Expand the Youth Works program

No developments this session

Provide Legal Advocacy for Foster Children and Youth

Appoint attorneys to all children and youth in foster care before their first shelter care hearing

HB 1251 and SB 5363 did not pass

$1.365 million in final budget for demonstration and evaluation

Allocate Sustainable Funding

Move funding for the Office of Homeless Youth to the Dept. of Commerce’s base budget

Accomplished – all OHY funding is now part of the Commerce base budget

$3.5 million allocated in final budget for OHY operations and programs

Pass HB 1570 to renew the Document Recording Fee without adding a future sunset date and restrict percentage spent on for-profit entities

Sunset of the document recording fee extended to 2023

Support Washington Youth and Families Fund

$4 million allocated to the fund

Generate new revenue for state budget

State property taxes raised

Online sales tax collections expanded

No new taxes on income or capital gains

Strengthen Statewide Systems of Care

Pass HB 1630 to improve data quality by allowing minors experiencing homelessness to share personally identifying information

Did not pass

Pass HB 1661 to establish a new Dept. of Children, Youth, and Families

Signed into law on 6/29/17

$6.3 million allocated in the budget