Raevn DeAugustino’s apartment bears all the hallmarks of a recent move-in.

Even unfurnished, the modest apartment is a triumph for the young woman. Before moving in less than two weeks ago, DeAugustino had spent the past three years homeless and living on Spokane’s streets after aging out of the foster care system with no place to go.

Spokane is in the final weeks of a challenge to house 100 homeless young people, ages 12 to 24, in 100 days. King and Pierce counties also are participating, with backing from A Way Home Washington, an advocacy group for homeless youth.

Jim Theofelis, A Way Home Washington’s founder and executive director, said homeless young people are especially vulnerable on the streets. They’re often targeted for abuse in shelters, and some who were abruptly kicked out of their parents’ home may be completely unprepared to survive on their own.

“Family conflict is the biggest reason young people become homeless,” he said. That includes abuse by parents or their partners, parents kicking out gay or transgender children, or parents who can’t handle their child’s mental illness when symptoms start showing.

The point isn’t to house 100 young people in a blitz and call it a day on July 29 when 100 days are up, A Way Home Washington director Theofelis said. The organization hopes the challenge will be a starting point to help better identify strategies for housing young people while bringing awareness to the challenges they face.

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