State Grants Help Foster Youth Leaving the System Avoid Homelessness


OLYMPIA, October 16, 2007 – The state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) has awarded more than $670,000 to three agencies serving foster youth in rural and urban Washington communities.

The Independent Youth Housing Program (IYHP), a pilot program established by the 2006 legislature, provides housing vouchers and case management to low-income youth ages 18 to 23 who are at risk for homelessness as they exit the state foster care system. IYHP funding helps meet the State’s goal of ensuring that all such youth have access to a decent, appropriate, and affordable home in a healthy, safe environment.

In addition to providing housing subsidies, IYHP grant recipients help young people gain the skills for economic independence and self-sufficiency, so that they are better prepared to overcome the challenges of living on their own.

The IYHP Grant recipients are:

Catholic Family and Child Service –$148,224 to serve youth in Yakima, Benton and Franklin Counties.

Community Youth Services –$258,676 to serve youth in Thurston and Lewis Counties.

Pierce County Alliance –$269,689 to serve youth in Pierce County.

“Youth aging out of foster care are particularly vulnerable to poverty and homelessness,” said Juli Wilkerson, CTED Director. “The Independent Youth Housing Program fills a critical need to provide stable housing support, along with case management, enabling these young adults to move toward self-sufficiency.”

Grant funds for the program run through June 30, 2009. If the pilot projects result in successful outcomes for youth, CTED staff is hopeful more funding will be provided to support additional projects statewide.

CTED is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit


Local Media Contacts:

Catholic Family and Child Service, Gail Wright, 509.966.9750.

Community Youth Services, Charles Shelan, 360.943.0780 ext. 138

Pierce County Alliance, Kathy Bannon, 253.502.5491


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