There is another way children are becoming homeless, one that the state can indeed stop.
When families with kids fall on hard times, there’s a program that steps in to help keep a roof over their heads. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is essential, helping provide for things like housing and basic needs.
Washington state has made deep cuts to TANF and set up harsh time limits. Families facing or in homelessness are losing their support — in 2018, more than one in three families who were cut from TANF were already homeless.
By reinvesting in TANF with House Bill 1603, Washington state can stop more families and children from facing homelessness.
Julie L. Watts, deputy director, Washington State Budget & Policy Center, Seattle