Vallen Solomon

  • Hosted by King County Bar Association's Housing Justice Project
  • Sponsored by Costco Wholesale, The Raikes Foundation
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school Seattle University School of Law
  • Issue area Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Vallen provides legal advocacy to young adults experiencing or exiting systems of care into homelessness, through holistic, youth-centered services and increased legal literacy on evictions and tenant rights.

Eviction is a major driver of homelessness. In 2019, King County estimated that over 1,000 young adults were experiencing homelessness on any given night in the County. People of color and those identifying as LGBTQ+ are overrepresented among the homeless population. In recent focus groups convened by Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (“LCYC”) and Housing Justice Project (“HJP”), service providers and young people expressed a need for developmentally appropriate legal assistance to help young adults understand their rights, as well as additional legal services if an eviction notice is served. There is also a need for accessible educational materials tailored to the needs of young adults to inform both staff and young adults surrounding tenants’ rights and evictions.

Vallen’s dedication to economic, gender, and racial justice motives his commitment to advocacy on behalf of all tenants.

Fellowship Highlights to Date

During the first year of the Fellowship, Vallen has:

  • Provided representation to over 25 tenants facing eviction
  • Provided counsel & advice or brief services to 90+ tenants with housing-related issues in King County through a hotline and help desk in the courthouse
  • Established a referral network between the Housing Justice Project & Legal Counsel for Youth and Children to provide holistic services to young-adult tenants facing homelessness
  • Presented to young adult groups and service providers – 850 individuals total – on tenants’ rights surrounding Washington’s eviction moratorium and the various changes in the law over the last year
  • Created and shared eight educational short videos targeted towards young adults detailing specific tenants’ rights in Washington
  • Presented to Costco’s legal team and recruited pro bono volunteers

Next Steps

In the next six months, Vallen plans to:

  • Provide direct representation to tenants facing eviction in King County
  • Meet directly with young adults facing housing-related issues and learn more about housing issues that acutely impact young adults
  • Get involved in policy work and legislative advocacy
  • Build relationships with new community partners and organizers to expand this project’s reach

Media

Fearless Children's Lawyer of the Month

Watch: Design-Your-Own Fellowship Tips from Our Community

Two 2020 grads receive Equal Justice Works Fellowships

Two 2020 Grads Receive Prestigious Fellowships

Being able to advocate for young tenants in such dire circumstances has implications that go far beyond a single eviction case. In fact, a successful life first begins with stable housing.

Vallen Solomon /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Vallen

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Andrew Neuhauser

Host: Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.

Sponsor: Ohio Access to Justice Foundation

Sara Simon Tompkins

Host: National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

Sponsor: Individual Donors, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Michael Deemer

Host: Ohio State Legal Services Association

Sponsor: Ohio Access to Justice Foundation

Sara Pezeshkpour

Host: Housing Rights Center

Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP