Self help: Mockingbird youth are leading advocacy efforts by the Mockingbird Society

Mockingbird Society

Photo: Jerry Davis

“For the young people at The Mockingbird Society who have experienced homelessness and foster care, advocating for the youth of the next generation is imperative.

‘Even as I’m going through this journey of being homeless, I’m teaching, I’m inviting people in and changing people’s lives,’ said Okesha Brandon, a youth advocate. ‘Everyone kind of learns your strengths and people notice, and it builds your confidence. That in itself is a contribution to society.’

Named after the great American novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the organization draws inspiration from the book’s narrative.

“The power and promise of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is in reminding each of us of the untapped potential our most vulnerable citizens hold,” states the organization’s website.

In the seventeen years since its founding, The Mockingbird Society has had a hand in 25 new laws and reform policies to better the lives of young people in Washington state. Mockingbird’s youth programs train young people who have been homeless or in foster care to be their own best advocates. The result? Changes in the policies and perceptions that stand in the way of every child having a safe, stable home and a healthy family.

Mockingbird’s legislative agenda for 2017 is ambitious, but already making an impact.”

READ THE FULL STORY ON REAL CHANGE

Homelessness State of Emergency Declared in Seattle and King County

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“You don’t have to walk far in Seattle to pass a person suffering on the street. These members of the community are forced by poverty, lack of affordable housing, domestic abuse, addiction, mental illness, discrimination and host of other challenges to go without basic human necessities. Their plight has not gone entirely unnoticed. On Monday morning, Seattle Mayor Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine signed a Proclamation of Civil Emergency in response to the growing homelessness crisis in King County.” Read the full article here.

Facts about homelessness in King County from One Night Count:

One Night Chart