Youth Homelessness

Educators Speak Up for Homeless Students

Education is a major focus of this legislative session, in part because policymakers have been directed by the state Supreme Court to invest billions more dollars in funding K-12 education. But lawmakers and advocates alike recognize that as long as family homelessness is a problem in our state, students and schools will suffer. In this video, educators explain how they've seen homelessness affect students, and how these experiences motivated them to join Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day.

Culture Watch: “My So-Called Life” and, like, the homeless teens Christmas episode

Looking to supplement your usual go-to holiday movies with something different this year? Catherine Hinrichsen from Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness takes us back to the mid 90's and her favorite Christmas episode of any show ever: the "So-Called Angels” episode of “My So-Called Life.” This powerful episode takes us on a journey contrasting a middle-class family’s Christmas splendor with the harsh life of teens living in homelessness. And as Catherine discovers, the fictional story actually mirrors the real life story of a key actor, making the message even more poignant. 

Back to School: “No One Would Have Known I Was Homeless”

At age 14, Brandy Sincyr, along with her mother and sister, escaped an abusive stepfather and found herself bouncing between shelters and temporary living arrangements. Despite the many challenges of not knowing where she would sleep each night, Brandy graduated from high school -- and then went on to earn a political science degree from Seattle Pacific University in June. Now she's leveraging her own experience to advocate on behalf of the more than 27,000 homeless students in Washington state. Read Brandy's story in the final post of our "Back to School" series on student homelessness.

Back to School: Flexible Diploma and GED Programs Open Doors for Homeless Youth

A YouthCare client works toward his GED. High school completion and GED programs designed for homeless youth must focus on individual students' needs and goals. Photo courtesy YouthCare.

27,390. We've been sharing that number a lot this week because it's how many students in Washington state have been identified as homeless. What that number doesn't include is the thousands of young people who have left the school system because of homelessness. If they never find their way back to school, they are likely to become trapped in the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Melinda Giovengo, YouthCare's executive director, writes today's guest post about how flexible high school completion and GED programs can help homeless young people find a path to post-secondary education and successful careers. 

Back to School: “How It Really Was”

Our blog series exploring what back to school means for Washington's 27,000 homeless students continues with contributions from youth working with the Zine Project. A program of Catholic Community Services, the Zine Project is an eight-week prevocational creative writing program serving homeless youth ages 15 to 22. Interns with the project are paid to make zines, personal publications consisting of original writing and artwork. Today we share two interns's writings about school and home, as well as original artwork.

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