In the recent Seattle Times editorial “A Formula that Pays Off to Keep WA’s Youth Housed,” the editorial board notes that the state of Washington has reduced youth homelessness by 29% and that this “represents a rare ray of hope.” They point out that “sustained attention to [youth homelessness] can actually make a difference.”
We are glad to see this success shared with the Times’ readers and the greater community, and we thank Governor Inslee for leading the charge to create the Office of Homeless Youth. Our state set ambitious goals to ensure that young people leaving foster care, juvenile detention, and medical facilities were not ending up homeless—and this 29% reduction demonstrates that a sustained, thoughtful, comprehensive, and coordinated approach helps prevent and end youth homelessness.
The hard work and tireless dedication of our partners A Way Home Washington and the Mockingbird Society is yielding real results. They worked closely with leaders in Olympia to take a close look at policy changes, experimented with new approaches, and increased resources.
Innovation, collaboration, dedicated funding, and patience will get us to our goal of finding a safe home for all people, young and old, experiencing homelessness in our state.