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Mockingbird Times - November, 2014

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Mockingbird Meets with DSHS

DSHS Secretary Kevin Quigley, left, and CA Assistant Secretary Jennifer Strus DSHS Secretary Kevin Quigley, left, and CA Assistant Secretary Jennifer Strus

On October 14th, staff and youth advocates from The Mockingbird Society had the pleasure of meeting with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Secretary, Kevin Quigley, and the Children’s Administration (CA) Assistant Secretary, Jennifer Strus. The purpose of our meeting was to talk about the issues that youth in our chapters brought up at our annual Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summit last July, and to see what we can do to move forward with these ideas.

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Forty to None Summit for LGBTQ Youth Leaders

Trai Williams in New York City with other Forty to None conference presenters

I had the opportunity to work with a great organization in New York this past month. This organization, The True Colors Fund, has started a project called Forty to None to help end LGBTQ youth homelessness on a national level.

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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

Happy Thanksgiving! As we enter November, I want to give thanks for our generous community of supporters, and for our many accomplishments in the past year.

It has been a busy fall as we ramp up for the 2015 legislative session. Our team has been hard at work paving the way for our priorities, including Extended Foster Care and the Homeless Youth Act. Youth and staff alike have been meeting with community and government leaders to make lasting connections and identify potential champions for our proposals.

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Mockingbird Partners with YARH

For the last several months, The Mockingbird Society has assisted a project called YARH (Youth at Risk of Homelessness) in understanding risk factors associated with foster youth most likely to experience homelessness. According to DSHS research, youth aging out of foster care at age 18 face a significant risk: 35 percent of those who age out experience homelessness within their first year.

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How Shared Housing Changed My Life

Homelessness is a neglected issue that needs more attention. There is nothing like being homeless and sleeping outside while it’s thunder storming, or sleeping behind a gas station’s trash area.

When I became homeless, I was waking up at 5:00 in the morning every day and taking a 50-minute bus ride going to school for my G.E.D. My teacher noticed how I was coming to school later and later by the day. It made him concerned so he referred me to Shared Housing of Tacoma.

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Fall Resources and Events

With Fall in full swing, you may be in need of some warmer clothes, education resources, or a place to have a meal for Thanksgiving. Luckily, there are plenty of programs across the state that are meant specifically for foster and homeless youth in need of resources this time of year.

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Chapter Voices

“What are you thankful for?”

“For being placed in a foster home with both of my sisters.”

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I’m sorry beauty is distorted and imaginized
I’m sorry style is abruptly changing and fitting to one size
I’m sorry ethnicity is domineering and discriminating
I’m sorry gender is determining and perpetuating
I’m sorry love is religion bound and decided
I’m sorry hate is raised and instilled inside us

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