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 will provide 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.

King County’s homelessness and housing crisis has been declared a state of emergency, and young people are not exempt from this traumatic experience. 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, as are those with prior involvement in systems of care (e.g., foster care, juvenile court, behavioral health).

Eviction is a major driver of homelessness. 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 and responsibilities before signing a lease, as well as additional legal services if an eviction notice is filed. There is also a need for accessible educational materials tailored to the needs of young adults to inform both staff and young people on tenant rights and evictions.

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

Fellowship Plans

Vallen will provide legal advocacy to young adults facing homelessness, through holistic, youth ­centered services and increased legal literacy on evictions and tenant rights. This goal will be met through a unique direct service model, youth informed educational resources, and resource distribution. In addition to HJP, Vallen will collaborate with LCYC and other community and government partners, to ensure the wide dissemination of the educational materials among systems involved youth, as well as to the general young adult population in Washington.

Media

Two 2020 grads receive Equal Justice Works 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

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