Widening inaccessibility to affordable homes and an increase in homeless young people across the state, means these issues have become a huge priority for communities across the state. Last year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction found more than 27,000 homeless young students across Washington with the largest jumps in young people who are “doubled-up”, which means couch-surfing or staying at the home of relatives or neighbors. In addition, the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that for every 100 extremely low-income families in the state earning less than $23,400 a year for a family of three, only 47 affordable apartments are available. These two facts taken together means the legislature must act to help create affordable homes and fund successful programs that transition people off of the streets into safe, healthy, affordable homes.
This is also why this year’s theme is “…It All Starts at Home…” Advocates are increasingly making the connections between having a home and positive education and even healthcare outcomes.