OLYMPIA, Wash. – Today, the state House passed legislation from Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) to help ensure young people are not released into homelessness from publicly funded systems of care, including foster care, behavioral health in-patient treatment and juvenile rehabilitation.
“The best way to address youth homelessness is by preventing it,” said Senn. “By ensuring young people have safe, stable housing after they’ve been in a system of care, we can stop the cycle of homelessness before it starts and help youth and young adults thrive.”
HB 1905, which is headed to the Senate for further consideration, would:
- Require the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and the Office of Homeless Youth (OHY) to develop and implement a rapid response team that supports young people exiting systems of care and connects them with services
- Require the OHY to provide funding that supports youth housing needs
- Require the OHY to provide funding and assistance for at least six counties that implement Housing Stability for Youth in Crisis programs for a period of three years
In 2018, the Legislature committed to the goal of not releasing youth into homelessness from a publicly funded system through SB 6560 — but hasn’t provided the necessary tools or services. HB 1905 would support this goal by providing more services for young people.
“Each youth has unique needs. With these customizable tools, we’re providing personalized plans and flexible supports a young person may need to find and remain in safe, appropriate housing,” Senn added.
Visit this link to watch Senn’s remarks on the House floor.