We believe strongly in standing up and speaking out for what we believe in.  When we aren’t doing it ourselves throughout the halls of power in both Washingtons, or in gatherings with fellow funders and advocates, we’ll be doing it right here on these pages.  So please explore, engage, and share.

Our “Stubborn Hope” to End Youth Homelessness

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reflecting on a quote by one of my favorite writers, Ann Lamott. “Hope begins in the dark,” she wrote, “the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don’t give up.”

Lamott’s words seem particularly relevant for those of us engaged in the difficult but critical fight to end homelessness.

Homelessness has been a distressing problem in Washington state for a long time. But over the last few years the number of adults, families, and children sleeping outside in brutal conditions has risen to shocking levels. In large and small communities from Spokane to Seattle, the hardships faced by so many people are impossible to ignore.

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Three Steps to Help End Youth Homelessness

(The following Op-Ed was authored by Kim Justice and Jim Theofelis and originally published in the Seattle Times February 1, 2017)

On any given night, in every county of our state, many youth and young adults have no family to eat dinner with, no safe place in which to do homework or no bed to sleep in.

“Patricia” lived with her grandmother for most of her adolescence, but due to poverty she became homeless in her late teens. In addition to facing addiction to cope with her struggles, she received a devastating cancer diagnosis. Without a place to live, “Patricia,” now in her early twenties and living in the Yakima-area, had no place to call home.

No young person should go through this alone. The good news is that we can make it better for “Patricia” and the nearly 13,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults (ages 12 to 24) who access homeless support services each year in Washington. The time to act is now.

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A Big Week for Homeless Youth – But Much Work Remains

For the past two years, the Campion Foundation and Campion Advocacy Fund has been proud to partner with a broad group of stakeholders across Washington state to prevent and end youth homelessness. We have been especially proud to help launch A Way Home Washington, a movement to prevent and end youth homelessness in Washington state, led by the expertise of its Executive Director, Jim Theofelis.

For all of us working on behalf of the 13,000 young people in Washington who experience homelessness each year, this has been an inspiring and encouraging week.

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2017 State Legislative Agenda

The Campion Advocacy Fund works to address the upstream causes of homelessness in Washington state through advocacy. Partnering with our statewide advocacy networks, we work to advance policy solutions and government funding opportunities to ensure that homelessness becomes a rare occurrence in our communities.

We support a coordinated system at the state level to address the needs of homeless youth.

Implementation of the Office of Homeless Youth’s Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness. We support the following legislative actions to implement the plan:

  • Inclusion of $4m in the budget to establish an interagency work group on youth homelessness.
  • Improve and expand programs dealing with the prevention, diversion and response to youth homelessness, including extended foster care, family reconciliation services, and the Young Adult Housing Program.

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In Times of Change, Board Members Must Be Advocates

By Anne Wallestad, chief executive of BoardSource and originally published on the Chronicle of Philanthropy blog on January 19, 2017.

As the country prepares to inaugurate Donald Trump as our 45th president on Friday and leadership at all levels of government takes shape postelection, nonprofit executives and board members across the country are asking themselves some important questions:

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Published: in the Seattle Times

A shortsighted attempt to turn Arctic refuge into oil field

(The following Op-Ed was authored by Tom Campion and originally published in the Seattle Times on December 22, 2016.)

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not survive without the engagement of everyday citizens. The threat to the refuge by politicians who want to allow drilling for oil has never been more urgent.

President Obama made history this week by permanently protecting 115 million acres of the Arctic Ocean from oil and gas drilling. This is great news, for Alaska native people, for wildlife and for the climate.

But right next door another American treasure is still at risk. In the last 15 years, I’ve visited the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge more than 18 times. It’s a place unlike any other. I’ve seen tens of thousands of caribou blanketing the landscape and hundreds of species of migratory birds, from all 50 states and six continents, swooping in over the heads of polar bears, wolves and muskoxen.

The fragile coastal plain of the refuge is one of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes. The native Gwich’in people know it as “the sacred place where life begins” and rely on it to sustain their way of life. It is one of the last places where one can dip a cup into a river and drink clean, safe water.

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It's time for #waleg to act on solutions that end homelessness! Vote YES on #HB1570 #wahomes thndr.me/jJUSck

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