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Can Washington State End Youth Homelessness?

Jeanie Lindsay
Northwest News Network
Washington first lady Trudi Inslee told the press Tuesday about a joint effort in the state to end homelessness for teens and young adults.

Lawmakers, community leaders, and advocates in Washington state told the press Tuesday they want to be the first in the nation to completely end homelessness for teens and young adults.

Kim Justice is executive director of the Office of Youth Homelessness in the state Department of Commerce. She said too many young people are homeless in every corner of the state.

“Their basic safety and immediate future are uncertain,” Justice said. “This is unacceptable.”

To get young people into homes she shared a three-point plan based on a report made in December. Those points are:

  • Improving access to safe housing for youth leaving foster care or juvenile detention
  • Family crisis prevention
  • Improving education and job outcomes.

The plan was released alongside a directive from Gov. Jay Inslee to create a multi-agency task force.

The state estimates 13,000 teens and young adults in Washington do not have safe or stable homes.