April 5, 2016
What This Washington State Legislative Session Meant for Homeless Youth

There are more than 35,000 homeless K-12 students in Washington—a population with one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the state. Historically, barely half of these students graduate with their peers. Now, thanks to legislation passed by the Washington State Legislature and signed into law last week by Governor Inslee, homeless students are more likely to receive the support and stability they need to succeed in school and life.Read More

February 22, 2016
Bold Action to Improve the Lives of Young People in Washington State

Yesterday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee took an historic step to improve the lives of young people in our state. The governor issued an executive order to begin the process of creating a Department of Children and Families in our state. Such a change would ensure that Governor Inslee, and future Washington governors, hear frequently and directly about issues affecting our most vulnerable children and families.Read More

January 11, 2016
School buses should take students home, not to homelessness

As with most students, when my first-grader leaves school each day she comes home to the same safe place every night. Statistics show that this is likely not the case for at least one of her classmates. One in every 32 students in Washington is identified as homeless, or roughly one per class and 15-20 students per school.Read More

November 4, 2015
A New Chapter in Our Youth Homelessness Strategy

Each year more than 5,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults in King County experience homelessness. Since 2011, the Raikes Foundation has worked closely with key partners to change this. When we began our work, we found a community of passionate advocates and experienced service providers poised to take an important step toward a true systems-level response. Together, this community has made significant progress to raise awareness of the issue and align our collective efforts under a regional action plan that’s data-driven and youth-informed. Read More

October 19, 2015
Redefining a “Community-wide” Responses to Youth Homelessness

If you’ve spent any amount of time with me or my Raikes Foundation colleagues, you’ve likely heard us emphasize that youth homelessness is a community-wide issue that demands a community-wide response. It’s an important refrain that reflects our emphasis on collaborative, systems-level solutions. As simple as that saying is, though, I’m regularly intrigued by how much our understanding of it continues to evolve.Read More

June 24, 2015
Making Youth Voices Count Nationally

I’ve written before about how important it is to truly understand a problem before you can solve it. You need to know its full scope, its causes, its exacerbating factors and its consequences. Unfortunately, youth homelessness is often an invisible and undercounted problem.Read More

June 23, 2015
Going to Bat for Homeless Youth

This Saturday, local celebrities, athletes and community leaders will go to bat at Safeco Field during United Way of King County’s third annual All-Star Softball Classic for Youth. They’ll play alongside formerly-homeless youth who epitomize why this event is so important for our community and why the Raikes Foundation is such a proud sponsor.Read More

June 16, 2015
Taking on Youth Homelessness in Canada

Contrary to what you might think, the Canadian context is not that much different than the United States when it comes to complex social issues. Sure, we have different names for things and we tend to add the word ‘eh’ to the ends of sentences, but beyond that we have more in common than not. Given the recent important developments in the Washington state with the Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act, we were invited to share some of our Canadian learnings and activities to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness north of the border.Read More

May 14, 2015
Inspired by the Power of We

Editor’s Note: After surviving more than a decade of her youth on the streets Trai Williams has become an important voice for change through the Mockingbird Society’s Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness program, which the Raikes Foundation supports as a grantee.Read More

March 12, 2015
Painting a More Accurate Picture of Youth Homelessness in King County

Before you can solve a problem, you need to understand it. You need to know its full scope, its causes, its exacerbating factors, and its consequences. This a fundamental reality of social change, but how do you do this for a complex problem that, by its very nature, is hidden from society? That’s the challenge we face each day with youth homelessness as the young people we seek to help often distrust the very systems and individuals in place to support them. And who can blame them after the abuse, neglect and fear most have encountered?Read More