Nov 04

Falling Through the Gaps: How a Stay in Detention can Lead to Youth Homelessness

Rheannon Rice at the Sanctuary Art Center,

Washington State provides its youth a right to health care, to an education, to food assistance, and to be protected from exploitative working conditions. But for another basic need – a roof over one’s head – there is no clear right. Instead, the care and custody of homeless youth is subject to a patchwork of local and state agency resources and various legal duties, resulting in gaps in responsibilities and services. Often, youth fall through these gaps into homelessness.

Jimmy, 15, was the subject of two dependency proceedings as a child...and routinely seeks arrest to get off the streets....He typically leaves on his own, returns to the streets, then turns himself in again when he feels he needs help.