In this op-ed, NorthStar Executive Director Jim Theofelis and Julio Cortes who represents the 38th District in the Washington Legislature, address the urgent intersection of the behavioral health and homelessness crises, particularly among young people. Highlighting the courage displayed by youth entering inpatient behavioral health treatment, the piece sheds light on the alarming reality that many are discharged back to homelessness. The op-ed supports Substitute House Bill 1929, spearheaded by NorthStar Advocates, which proposes providing interim housing for young individuals immediately upon discharge. The bridge residential care, outlined in the bill, aims to support these individuals as they transition back into their communities by offering safe housing and behavioral health services. The article emphasizes the need for comprehensive support beyond inpatient treatment to address the complex challenges young people face, advocating for the funding of programs like SHB 1929 to create a pathway from surviving to thriving for these individuals.
TO READ THE FULL OP-ED: