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    Homeless In Seattle - and beyond

    As King County gears up for its 2014 "Count Us In" day, Crosscut launches Phase 2 of Kids@Risk coverage: homeless youth.

    (Page 2 of 2)

            “I’m gay.”
            “Get out.”

    A door slams. And one more kid stomps off into the danger zone.

    The vast majority of runaways return home within a day or two. For the ones who don’t the perils are real: drug mule, drug addict, prostitute, sex slave, convict. These are career paths that no parent (stepparent or guardian) dares ponder for their child.

    Graphic by Kate Thompson. Source: King County Homeless Youth and Young Adult Initiative, 2013

    As you can see from the graphic above, King County's homeless youth and young adults tend to fall into one of three groups: foster care alums (20-plus percent), LBGTQ kids (20-40 percent) and African-Americans (35 percent). In Crosscut’s ongoing series on youth homelessness, you’ll meet and hear from kids in all three of these high-risk populations.

    We’ll also explore what happens in that critical 45-minute window. We'll introduce you to street outreach workers, the anti-Fagins who find and direct runaways to safe shelter, and to the public school liaisons who keep homeless students in school and on track. You'll learn about King County's efforts to address the problem, and about innovative, inter-agency programs such as Safe Place, which has turned every Metro bus and county library into a no-questions-asked haven for kids in crisis. Most important, you’ll find out what you can do to help. (We'll also report results of the 2014 Count Us In census when they become available next month.)

    So please join us as we continue our exploration of Kids@Risk. The first installment in our youth homelessness series is Rebekah Demirel's first-person account of growing up on the streets of Vancouver, B.C. Look for it tomorrow (Friday) right here at Crosscut.

    And we'll share the results of this year's Count Us In census when they become available in early February.

    Our homeless youth series is made possible by the generous support of the Raikes Foundation and Crosscut members.

    Mary Bruno is the Editor-in-Chief of Crosscut.

    Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!


    Posted Thu, Jan 23, 8:48 a.m. Inappropriate

    King County is going to "end homelessness" by 2015. Remember? That's what they promised when they took the money.

    How about some follow-up series: "Taxpayers@Risk" or "Government Credibility@Risk".


    Posted Thu, Jan 23, 10:06 a.m. Inappropriate

    So this is the last year that they'll have to make this count. Impressive work in only ten years. And to think people doubted that the ambitious program was naive and had no chance of success.

    King County should tackle cold fusion next - they are on a roll.


    Posted Thu, Jan 23, 10:36 a.m. Inappropriate

    They're probably gonna have their hands full Saving the Sound by 2020 and becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030...


    Posted Thu, Jan 23, 11:09 a.m. Inappropriate

    When reading the article I assumed the subject was teen agers. The graphic tells the reader that only 12% of homeless youth were "under 18 years old". The first question I have is what is the age bracket of "youth"? i. e., how old are the oldest "youth"? I can't find that information in the article and, what portion of the remaining 88% of "youth" is over 20 years old?

    The above comment that I wrote earlier today doesn't make much sense because Crosscut deleted the graphic.


    Posted Thu, Jan 23, 8:58 p.m. Inappropriate

    "Youth" means teenagers through age 18. "Young adults" are 18-25. Once someone is 18 and is not in school, they are no longer eligible for foster care. That means that they are often literally out on the street, with no money and usually no job.


    Posted Sat, Jan 25, 7:57 p.m. Inappropriate

    Little 'Obamavilles' are scattered all over Seattle's doorways, alleys, parks, and parking lots. So much time, energy, and capital squandered.


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