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.


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)

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.

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

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 (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.

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

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

Technical Assistance

SYS programs conduct outreach to engage runaway and homeless youth in services including shelter, housing, and case management. This webinar is for current or prospective SYS grantees to better understand the scope of SYS services, program guidelines, and best practices. The webinar was recorded on May 16th, 2018 and includes participation from current and former SYS providers!

Click here to listen to the webinar recording and view the PowerPoint slides.

The Office of Homeless Youth provides the following guidance to Coordinated Entries (CE’s) regarding protocols for assessing, prioritizing, and referring homeless youth (under 18) and young adults (18-24) to housing resources: Five Recommendations for Making Coordinated Entry Work for Homeless Youth and Young Adults. This guidance is a tool for CE’s and homeless youth providers as they mutually work to ensure housing resources are accessible to those homeless youth and young adults who are most in need.

HOPE Center and Crisis Residential Center (CRC) programs provide temporary residence for homeless youth ages 12 through 17. The Office of Homeless Youth hosted an informational webinar on how to operate HOPE and CRC programs on April 27th, 2017. Presenters during the webinar included:

  • Division of Licensed Resources, DSHS
  • Office of Homeless Youth, Department of Commerce
  • Current HOPE/CRC services provider

A recording of the webinar plus all relevant handouts and documents can be found here.

Interagency Work Group on Youth Homelessness

The Interagency Work Group on Youth Homelessness was established pursuant to Governor Inslee’s directive 17-01 signed on January 24, 2017. The Work Group convenes state agency partners to develop shared goals, outcomes, and action plans to prevent and design system response to youth homelessness in Washington. 

The next meeting of the Interagency Work Group on Youth Homelessness is scheduled for January 29, 2019 from 10-12 and is open to the public. We sincerely hope you can attend. The agenda is dedicated to sharing updates on the planning efforts prompted by passage of Youth – Discharge from Public Care into Homelessness – Identicards (Chapter 157, Laws of 2018) that states that youth and young adults who exit from systems of care will be discharged into safe and stable housing. Working committees that represent stakeholder interest from five systems of care including child welfare, juvenile justice/state, juvenile justice/county, behavioral health, and OHY programs have generated a preliminary list of recommendations. 

Washington State Patrol
Helen Sommers Building
106 11th AVE SW
4th Floor, Room 4015
Olympia WA 98504

If you plan to attend, please email Regina McDougall for a parking pass at: 

  • Kim Justice, Office of Homeless Youth
  • Sherrie Flores, Children’s Administration/DSHS
  • Cristi Devers, Juvenile Rehabilitation/DSHS
  • Vazaskia Crockrell, Office of Juvenile Justice/DSHS
  • David Stillman and Theresa Slusher, Economic Services Administration/DSHS
  • Diana Cockrell, Division of Behavior Health and Recovery/DSHS
  • Colette Jones, Health Care AuthorityMarie Bruin, Employment Security Department
  • Patrick Woods, Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
  • Troy Goracke, State Board of Community and Technical Colleges
  • Rachel Sharpe and Becky Thompson, Student Achievement Council
  • Carri Gordon, Washington State Patrol
  • Ed Prince, Commission on African American Affairs
  • Lisa van der Lugt, Commission on Hispanic Affairs
  • Vacant, Commission on Indian Affairs
  • Nam Nguyen, Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
  • Jess Lewis, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • George Yeannakis, Office of Public Defense
  • Dr. Carl McCurley, Administrative Office of the Courts
  • Jim Mayfield, Research and Data Analysis/DSHS
  • TBD, Department of Children, Youth and Families

Coming soon.

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.

Rep. Jake Fey (D) – 27th Legislative District
Sen. David Frockt (D) – 46th Legislative District
Sen. Mark Miloscia (R) – 30th Legislative District
Rep. Melanie Stambaugh (R) – 25th Legislative District
Vicente Acosta, parent advocate, Othello School District
Tatyana Barron, youth advocate, The Mockingbird Society
Kim Bogucki, Detective, Seattle Police Department
Bridget Cannon, parent advocate, Volunteers of America
Melinda Giovengo, Director, YouthCare
Kris Hermanns, Director, Pride Foundation
Katara Jordan, Senior Manager, Building Changes
Casey Trupin, Program Officer, Raikes Foundation

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

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Office of Homeless Youth Staff

Kim Justice
Executive Director
Phone: 360-725-5055

Chanita Jackson
Program Manager
Phone: 360-725-2997

Cole Ketcherside
Program Manager
Phone: 360-725-5056

My-Le Tang
Program Coordinator
Office: 360-725-2982

Regina McDougall
Interagency Workgroup on Youth Homelessness
Phone: 360-725-5067

Riannon Bardsley
State Initiatives Manager