Students Experiencing Homelessness in Washington’s K–12 Public Schools: Trends, Characteristics, and Academic Outcomes, 2015-2022

Published: November 2, 2023


Imagine having a place to learn but no place to call home. According to our latest in-depth report on student homelessness in Washington State,* 39,801 K-12 public school students experienced homelessness during the 2021-22 school year, and the majority (64%) were youth of color. Unhoused students continue to lag academically behind their housed peers. This has long-lasting impacts on our communities, and especially on young people whose futures are at stake. Student homelessness is a crisis in our state, and this report provides comprehensive evidence of that fact.

The report not only gives us a clearer picture of the student homelessness crisis in Washington, but it also charges us to work together as a community to advance effective solutions and ensure that students experiencing homelessness get the support they need to succeed.

Two state programs—the Homeless Student Stability Program (HSSP) and the Washington Youth and Families Fund (WYFF)—are effective at addressing the needs of students experiencing homelessness because they identify and provide tailored, culturally-appropriate solutions for young people and their families. However, public funding continues to fall far short in addressing the magnitude of the crisis. In the last funding cycle, HSSP applicants requested 3-5x the amount the state had available to grant. Demand for the WYFF program last year was nearly 13x the available funding. Contributions to statewide efforts, such as WYFF, are needed from philanthropy, corporations, and community members to bridge the gap.

What you can do:

  • Download the report to gain a better understanding of the issue. See the Overview section (pages 1-4) for highlights.
  • Go to our interactive Local Data and Outcomes Dashboards to look up student homelessness data in your school district, legislative district, and county.
  • Download our toolkit and help increase awareness about student homelessness in our state and effective programs like HSSP and WYFF by sharing this information and spreading the word about solutions that offer hope.

Thank you for taking action! Only through our collective commitment can we end student homelessness to create a brighter future for our young people, our families, and our communities.

*An updated version of the report with corrections was published on November 7, 2023. See Correction Note in the report for details.

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