House Approves Fey Legislation to Help Homeless Students

OLYMPIA – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma) to help combat student homelessness by providing additional resources to schools and communities was approved by the House today with a unanimous vote of 96-0.

“Back in 2015, I first introduced a bill—commonly referred to as the Homeless Students Stability Bill—that was signed into law in 2016,” said Fey. “During this year’s Legislative Session, I introduced HB 1622, which includes some amendments to this original bill to further provide community supports and counselors for students who may be at risk of becoming homeless. I have also requested additional funds for this great program which is oversubscribed every year,” he added.

When this piece of legislation first became law, it created a competitive grant program available to school districts to connect homeless students to stable housing and improve access to educational resources. The original source of inspiration was by local efforts already in place at McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma.

“Unfortunately, we still have a homelessness crisis in our state, with as many as 30,000—or 3 percent of students—in our state identified as being homeless each year,” said Fey. “I recognized the need to do more to help our young people. With the increased supports and funding in this current bill, we have an even greater opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students who are homeless or those at risk of facing housing insecurity,” he added.

HB 1622 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.