The Advocate’s Lunchbox: Children & Youth Homelessness
In Washington state, over 30,000 students are homeless, or 3.1% of all students enrolled in our K-12 schools. Of these students, approximately 4,622 (15%) are unaccompanied, or not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. Without a home, family support or other resources, and opportunities for work and housing, many homeless children and youth experience circumstances in which they are threatened, isolated, fearful, unprotected, undernourished, and even in danger of losing their lives.
Join Columbia Legal Services for a free, public, panel discussion to engage with experts on the topic of child and youth homelessness in our state, and what we can do to help tackle this urgent issue affecting so many young people. Register to join in person at Seattle University; a box lunch is included. Or watch a live stream of the event online.
Lucy Helm – Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Starbucks
Katara Jordan – Staff Attorney, Children & Youth Project, Columbia Legal Services
Katara engages in multi-disciplinary advocacy through partnerships with local universities,
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and local and national groups dedicated to ending child and
family homelessness. Katara’s work focuses on removing barriers to academic success for homeless
students, especially around issues that impact youth who are low-income, at-risk, or in foster care.
Alison Eisinger – Director, Coalition on Homelessness (Seattle/King County)
Alison works to secure safety, services, housing, and justice for people while they are homeless,
and advance public policies and budgets that will solve homelessness and address inequalities.
In close partnership with the Coalition’s volunteer leadership, Alison cultivates strong working
relationships with a range of groups and individuals, engaging members, allies, and concerned
members of the public. She provides strategic leadership for the Coalition’s public education,
advocacy, and public policy work; heads planning for the annual One Night Count of people
who are homeless outside; and develops creative collaborations to support the
Coalition’s year-round work, special projects, and initiatives
Brandy Sincyr – Homeless Youth Advocate
From the age of 14 to 19, Brandy Sincyr, her mother, and sister became homeless after
escaping an abusive stepfather. With the help of friends who worked there, Brandy applied
and was accepted to Seattle Pacific University where she became actively involved with
advocacy and efforts related to homeless youth who share some the experiences she faced
while homeless. While her success has been hard earned and much of it self-made, Brandy
encourages other homeless youth to take advantage of the many services available to them.