homeless: Clothes spread out in city gutter.

Youth Homeless Providers Call on New York City Officials For Plan

As a global pandemic looms over New York City, one group in particular might be getting left behind, homeless youth — a vulnerable subset of the general homeless population made up of runaway youth, LGBTQ teens and other young people experiencing homelessness. 

Change in Washington State Law Helps Parents With Their Teens’ Mental Health Needs

For about three months, Karen Kelly would drive around Enumclaw, Wash., after midnight looking for her 13-year-old daughter, Hollie. She carried Hollie’s photo with her, pulling over to show it to everyone she saw. Sometimes she got lucky. She learned that Hollie had talked a hotel manager into giving her a free room, or that she was camping out near the P.O. boxes in a post office, or that she’d settled into a tent in the bushes behind an industrial park. Hollie remained in Enumclaw, a town of less than 12,000 40 miles southeast of Seattle.

Slideshow Focuses on Seattle Youth Experiencing Homelessness

For the last year, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has been writing about youth experiencing homelessness, particularly in the Seattle area. This collection in Bokeh Focus is some of our favorite photos from that coverage.
Take a look at what Paul Joseph Brown, Karen Ducey and Matt M. McKnight found.

Man skateboards past billboards about new condos.

Can Washington State Keep Youth Off the Streets After They Leave Detention?

By the age of 17, David Vanwetter had been in and out of detention perhaps a dozen times.
Washington state is vowing to keep young people like Vanwetter — often with complicated and troubled lives — from becoming homeless after they exit the jailhouse door. The state Legislature has ambitiously pledged to stop releasing youth from “publicly funded systems of care” — juvenile detention, foster care and mental health and drug treatment — into homelessness by the end of 2020. And that doesn’t mean putting them in a cab to a homeless shelter: Youth must have “safe and stable housing,” the law says.

Child welfare: A crowd of young people, only heads visible, in large room.

A Graphic Memoir About Working With Youth

I have worked since 1981 with teenagers who are homeless, runaways, addicted to drugs and alcohol, in the criminal justice system, former gang members and victims of abuse and neglect.  I am now the director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, the largest program in Vermont for this population.