From October 16th-19th, several Mockingbird Youth Network staff attended the Foster Youth in Action (FYA) 2015 Leaders for Change (L4C) Conference in Washington D.C. We created the conference to bring together youth-led foster care advocacy organizations from around the country to make a difference in the national child welfare system. In total, there were 14 groups representing 13 states, including about 80 youth and young adults. On Monday, October 19th, our work culminated in a policy briefing for people who are interested in child welfare system reforms on a national level.
Power of One
The holiday season is amongst us, and yet some people do not exhibit holiday cheer. At least, not in the same way that others assume it will manifest when it comes to Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. In all honesty, I am one of those individuals who exhibit holiday cheer in the way that most would not think. This is due to many factors, all stemming from my experience within foster care.
Fall is a busy season for us here at The Mockingbird Society.
Participants from our Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness (YAEH) program are out in full force advocating at Seattle’s City Hall to seek funding for Rapid Supportive Housing for young adults, which they successfully advocated to be included as a priority activity in the Comprehensive Plan to Prevent and End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in King County by 2020. We are hopeful that they will secure an investment so the community can begin implementing this important program.
Common reasons why youth become homeless are problems within the home. My last article was about youth homes not being supportive and how it can cause youth homelessness. This article is part two of a three-part series which focuses on the home not being safe.
Every night there are 550,000 youth and young adults in the U.S. who experience homelessness according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Around the nation people are trying to come up with new ways to end youth homelessness. Host Homes are an innovative “outside the box” housing model. In King County, Mockingbird youth are asking that this model be implemented to make homelessness rare, brief, and a one-time occurrence. On September 15th, members from Mockingbird’s Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness program (YAEH) were able to talk to funders about the Host Homes model they think should be funded.
Power of One
Sometimes I ponder the quote “we never know the love of our parents for us till we have become parents,” by Henry Ward Beecher. You see, at nineteen years old, I gave birth to a baby boy. But let’s back up a little. While I carried him for nine months, I didn’t feel the love that you see on social media or the excitement of awaiting such a “gift.” I had never seen a successful love for a child from any parent.
“With elections coming up, what are you doing to be an educated voter?”
“Personally, I like to avoid certain sources of information, such as biased media that attempts to shape our opinion of those running in the election. When it comes time to vote, I will go to trusted and credible online resources to research the candidates in order to make an impartial, educated decision. One source I will definitely utilize is the online voter’s pamphlet at www.vote.wa.gov.” Olympia leadership team member, Valerie Skelton
Art In Action
The truth about recovery?
It’s a process meant to break you.
Recovery is a demanding force.
A shadow of what you are, beating you senseless into what you are striving to be
Pulling you up by your withered wrists.
And robbing you of every inch of the skin that you’re comfortable in.
Because comfort was not part of the agreement.