It’s that time of the year again. That’s right, school is starting back up! This can be an exciting time for students but it can also be an equally stressful time for those who lack the proper resources to start their year strong. Over 5,000 young people experience housing instability in King County and countless others face poverty. Getting school supplies is a very real struggle, which is often coupled with housing instability. However, there is light down this dark road. In King County and across the state there are various resources available to families who are struggling with buying school supplies.

For student’s K-12 there are an abundant amount of resources available for the beginning of the year. Project Cool is one of them. They aim to serve around 1,400 students in King County this year and offer general supplies such as book bags, essential back to school items and a flyer noting the rights you have as a homeless/unstably housed young person as dictated in the McKinney-Vento act. For those who wish to aid their good work, they are very accepting of donations: we_do/project_cool.php.


If you are struggling with
homelessness and need
some school resources,
please contact your local
McKinney-Vento advocate.

For new and returning college students, the struggle for paying for classes is also very troublesome. In 2013 a survey for Americans found that 62% believed most people could not afford to go to college, while over half agreed that college is important to be successful.1 These challenges are increased tenfold when you face the challenges of poverty. While there are many programs that assist people with starting school, it can also be a very confusing process. One resource I appreciate is Seattle Education Access (SEA). They offer case management services to prepare you for school and help with tutoring during the school year. SEA works with youth and young adults up to age 30.

These are just a few resources available out in King County, and there are countless others across the state of Washington. A recent survey showed that 91% of teachers across the U.S used some of their own money to purchase school supplies for their students, and No Kid Hungry reported that 3 out of 4 public school teachers see students go to school hungry and about 81% say they see it at least once a week.2 As staggering as these statistics are what does this all mean? Well, on one hand it means students are sitting in class hungry. On a larger scale, it means that these students are more worried about their next meal than about getting an education, which can lead into more problems later in life.

There is high demand with high need. While I’m super happy to know that these services are available, I personally feel there is a strong need to work on ending poverty and lowering some of these outstanding numbers. Every child, youth, and young adult should be entitled to a good education and the resources to be successful.



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Your Work

We welcome submissions of articles, poetry, artwork, and photography from our young readers who have experience in the foster care system and/ or homelessness. If you want to be, or have been, published in the Mockingbird Times visit, call us at (206) 407-2134 or email us at youthprograms@ Note: Incoming letters to the editor and correspondence to youth under 18 years should be addressed to the Mockingbird Times and will be opened first by adult editorial staff.