Bill Addresses Homeless Teens

Governor Jay Inslee is ready to sign a bill addressing a little-known aspect of Washington’s homelessness crisis: Homeless children on their own. Dan Frizzell from the Washington State House Democratic Caucus has more.

More than 13,000 children between 12 and 18 years old are homeless in Washington state, with no responsible adult in their lives. That’s more than the entire population of many Washington cities. If that figure gives you pause, it did the same for lawmakers in Olympia, who scrambled this session to find ways to deal with a frightening situation. Representative Lisa Callan, a newly elected Democrat from Issaquah, wrote legislation to expand the number of beds and services available for these kids around the state. Her bill also makes it possible for youth up to age 21 to access street outreach services.  Here’s Callan:

CALLAN: “If you’re one of these kids who’s out there on the street and you’re trying to make these decisions every day on how to stay safe, it’s going to make a big difference. It’s going to affect their lives and their chance to really find the help they need, when they need it.”

Callan was notified today that her bill would be signed into law on Wednesday, five days before the scheduled adjournment of the 2019 legislative session. In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.