Podcast | A new effort to end youth homelessness in WA

More money and infrastructure will go toward supporting those who are released from state custody. But is it enough?

Woman with dog

Avrey pets her dog, Bowie, in her apartment in Belltown on Monday, June 13, 2022. Avrey was homeless before being put into foster care and then extended foster care. She was intermittently homeless during that time, but eventually found stable housing. (Amanda Snyder/Crosscut)

Every young person in the care of the state of Washington eventually faces a crucial moment where they are released from that care. Many are able to make that transition into independence, but some end up without a reliable place to live. 

For instance, 17 percent of young people exiting foster care experience homelessness at some point within a year of that exit, according to a recent estimate. 

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In 2018 lawmakers took the first steps to put an end to this instability. This year they have moved to do even more to keep young people from falling into homelessness, passing a law that allocates $5 billion to the effort. 

For this episode of the Youth Today podcast, producer Rachel Stevens talks to the lead sponsor of that bill about what she hopes it will achieve. She also speaks with two young women who experienced homelessness after being released from state care and asks whether the new law will help prevent more stories like theirs. 

This podcast is part of an ongoing series on homelessness in Washington state, done in collaboration with Youth Today. It is made possible in part by support from the Raikes Foundation. Youth Today and Crosscut maintain editorial control. You can read a text version of this story here and more from the series here

About the Hosts

Patrick L. Riley

Patrick L. Riley

Patrick L. Riley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, multi-media personality and author.