Educators Speak Up for Homeless Students

Written by Denise Miller, Firesteel Advocacy Coordinator

On Jan. 28, more than 600 Washingtonians gathered at our state capitol to advocate for policies that will help end homelessness.

Education is a major focus of this legislative session, in part because policymakers have been directed by the state Supreme Court to invest billions more dollars in funding K-12 education. But lawmakers and advocates alike recognize that as long as family homelessness is a problem in our state, students and schools will suffer. We asked a few educators to share how they’ve seen homelessness affect students, and how these experiences motivated them to join Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day.

The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance organizes Advocacy Day every winter. This year, a diverse group 605 advocates representing 41 districts met with our legislators. We encouraged lawmakers to support policies that will help end homelessness, because we believe in the slogan of Advocacy Day: “It all starts at home.” Better schools, healthy families, vibrant communities—it all starts with a home.

Legislation to end homelessness

Firesteel is advocating for three priority policies that will help end homelessness:

  • Passing the Fair Tenant Screening Act will make home searches more affordable for renters. The FTSA has had two hearings, including one today! Please call (800) 562-6000 and urge your lawmakers to vote yes on House Bill 2537 and Senate Bill 6291. If your senator is on the Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee, your advocacy is extra important! Visit the Housing Alliance’s advocacy alert to find out whether your senator is on this committee.
  • Preventing planned revenue cuts for effective homelessness programs will help more people transition off the streets into shelters and homes. Legislation to make document recording fees permanent has recently had committee hearings in both houses. Call (800) 562-6000 and ask your lawmakers to support House Bill 2368 and Senate Bill 6313.
  • Investing in the Housing Trust Fund will create more homes for low-income families. Use this easy Housing Alliance email form to ask your legislators to prioritize this important investment.

(By the way, you can always visit the Housing Alliance’s Bill Tracker for the latest on these policies!)

Look out next week for more posts following up on Advocacy Day! We’ll highlight some of our favorite snaps from the Firesteel photo booth, and our partners at Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness will share takeaways from the Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day event they organized on campus.

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