In the News

Tacoma, Washington: Preparing Youth and Young Adults for a Second Chance

January 23, 2023
HUD USER case study

In 2022, more than 800 young people between the ages of 12 and 24 experienced homelessness in Pierce County, Washington. Many youth end up on the streets because of neglect, abuse, or discrimination in their home environment. Those who are in foster care often have nowhere to go once they turn 18. Without a stable living environment, youth and young adults experiencing homelessness are more likely to engage in risky behavior and are more vulnerable to assault or abuse. They also are more prone to substance abuse, mental disorders, and suicide. Homelessness naturally leads to significant disruptions in education, which also can have long-term consequences. People of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community are significantly more likely than their peers to experience homelessness as youth and young adults. To serve these vulnerable populations, the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) developed the Arlington Drive Youth Campus in Tacoma, which opened in the summer of 2020. The development, which won the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Chairman’s Award in 2021, provides a temporary housing center for youth and an apartment building for young adults. Onsite wraparound services support both populations. By helping unemployed young adults find jobs or homeless teenagers improve school grades, the Arlington Drive Youth Campus is fulfilling its primary goal to offer residents “a second chance at a life without exploitation.”

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