Walking around the state Capitol campus, Charles Adkins looks like most lobbyists in Olympia. But don’t let the coat and tie fool you.
The 20-year-old registered lobbyist is technically homeless.
As a teen, Adkins left his home and ended up on the streets and contemplated suicide. But since his father is a disabled Army veteran, he learned he could get free tuition and housing at state colleges.
After enrolling at The Evergreen State College in 2016, he became the school’s student lobbyist.
Adkins has testified to lawmakers on bills to offer tuition breaks to low-income students. He also supports a bill to require state colleges to keep dorms open during Winter and Spring breaks.
Adkins said legislators appreciate his perspective on the homeless problem.
“They’re always excited to have someone to talk to who went through this,” said Adkins.