Office of Homeless Youth

A homeless youth asks for donations with a sign saying "homeless and hungry - please help"

Every night, thousands of homeless youth in Washington go to sleep without safety, stability, and support of a family or home. Created in 2015, the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs (OHY) leads the statewide efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness for youth and young adults through five priority service areas to ensure our youth and young adults have:

  • Stable Housing - Every youth has a safe and healthy place to sleep at night.
  • Family Reconciliation - Families are reunited when safe and appropriate.
  • Permanent Connections  - Youth have opportunities to establish positive, healthy relationships with adults.
  • Education and Employment - Youth have opportunities to advance in their education or training and obtain employment.
  • Social and Emotional Well-Being - Youth have access  to behavioral and physical health care; services nurture each youth's individual strengths and abilities.

 

Programs

We work with partners and communities to establish ongoing and future funding, policy, and best practices related to improving the lives of homeless youth in Washington.  Funding for the Office of Homeless Youth is specifically allocated to four programs, each with a targeted mission, working together to increase the well-being of youth and young adults in transition.

Contracted Youth Service Providers (Excel)

Crisis Residential Centers
Temporary residence, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services provided in semi-secure and secure facilities for youth ages 12 through 17 who are in conflict with their family, have run away from home, or whose health and safety is at risk.

HOPE Centers
Temporary residence, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services for street youth under the age of 18.

Independent Youth Housing Program
Rental assistance and case management for eligible youth who have aged out of the state foster care system.  Participants must be between 18 and 23 years old, have been a dependent of the state at any time during the four-month period preceding his or her 18th birthday, and meet income eligibility. Priority is given to young adults who were dependents of the state for at least one year.

Street Youth Services
Street Youth Services (SYS) connect youth under the age of 18 to services and resources through street and community-based outreach. Services can include either directly or through referral drug/alcohol abuse intervention, crisis intervention, counseling, access to emergency shelter or housing, prevention and education activities, employment skill building, advocacy, family-focused services, and follow-up support.

Young Adult Shelter
Emergency, temporary shelter, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services for young adults ages 18 through 24.

Young Adult Housing Program
Resources for rent assistance, transitional housing, and case management for young adults ages 18 through 24.

 

Advisory Committee

The work of the office is guided by a 12-member advisory committee composed of advocates, legislators, law enforcement, service providers, and other stakeholders. Except for legislative members, advisory committee members are appointed by the Governor.

Committee Members
Rep. Jake Fey (D) - 27th Legislative District
Rep. Linda Kochmar (R) - 30th Legislative District
Sen. David Frockt (D) - 46th Legislative District
Sen. Mark Miloscia (R) - 30th Legislative District
Bridget Cannon, parent advocate, Volunteers of America
Kim Bogucki, Detective, Seattle Police Department
Melinda Giovengo, Director, YouthCare
Sierra Phillips, youth advocate, The Mockingbird Society
Kris Hermanns, Director, Pride Foundation
Casey Trupin, Program Officer, Raikes Foundation
Katara Jordan, Senior Manager, Building Changes
Vicente Acosta, parent advocate, Othello School District

Vote to Endorse 2016 OHY Report to the Governor and Legislature (PDF)
Draft Vision and Principles (PDF)

 

Advisory Committee Meetings

Information and Documents
November 14, 2017 in Spokane

Check back closer to the meeting for documents.

August - date TBD in Seattle

Check back closer to the meeting for documents.

May 9, 2017 in Tacoma

Check back closer to the meeting for documents.

February 3, 2017 in Olympia
2016 Meetings

October 5 in SeaTac


August 31 in Ellensburg
July 14 in SeaTac
May 10 in Spokane
April 5 in SeaTac
February 29

Do You Need Help?

If you or someone you know needs assistance, you can find help by using the 211 Washington Information Network.

If you are a young person who is thinking about running away or already has, you can talk to someone confidentially at the National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929

News and Announcements

Partners

Office of Homeless Youth staff

Kim Justice
Executive Director
Kim.Justice@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-5055

Cheryl Bayle
Program Manager
Cheryl.Bayle@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-2997

Cole Ketcherside
Program Coordinator
Cole.Ketcherside@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-5056

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