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Mount Zion church sells PSKS homeless youth shelter property for $3.2M

client_id_62464_logo_1457112485-7623Capitol Hill’s youth and young adult homeless shelter has two years to find a new location after learning its church property owner has sold its 19th and Pine home.

Mount Zion Baptist Church sold its annex building earlier this month to a Mercer Island residential housing developer for $3.2 million, according to King County property records. The church acquired the property in 2007 for $2.1 million.

Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets director Susan Fox tells CHS it still has two years on its lease and plans to stay for now, but the nonprofit is actively searching for a new location.

The PSKS building was purchased by DEP Homes, which has developed several multifamily buildings around the Central District, including one at 19th and Union.

PSKS had made an offer to purchase the building in April for around $3 million, according to Fox, which would have allowed the shelter to expand into the building’s existing apartments that were being used for storage.

Mount Zion’s plans to sell the property sparked intense infighting between church officials and some parishioners. CHS previously wrote about confusion and frustration at the church over the leadership’s efforts to buoy expenses by selling off several high value properties around the Central Area. “If they are going to have to sell to somebody they should sell to us not some developer that will build apodments,” Fox previously said.

PSKS welcomes anyone aged 18 to 29 to its shelter which can sleep up to 20 every night. A daytime drop-in center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and offers a wide variety of programs. During night and day times, those staying at the shelter can use the kitchen, access a community closet, receive case management, take GED classes, or use a shower.

Founded in 1995 primarily as an advocacy group, PSKS grew into a shelter and community space, though it has struggled at times to keep the doors open. The nonprofit nearly shutdown in its previous location at Summit and Howell before the city stepped in to help it secure the the ground level of Mount Zion’s annex building.

PSKS isn’t the only youth-oriented nonprofit on the search for a possible new home. LGBTQ youth nonprofit Lambert House launched a fundraising drive earlier this year to help it either purchase its current 15th Ave E location — or find a new home, hopefully on Capitol Hill.

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Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
4 years ago

Mmmm… much for Christian compassion. It seems that Mount Zion’s desire to cash in is greater than their desire to help a population in need.

4 years ago
Reply to  Bob Knudson

Hm, yeah… it’s almost as if they were in it for the money.

4 years ago

What gets me is that (if the reporting is correct), PSKS was able to come very close to the offer that was accepted. I could understand if there was no counter offer, or is the developer was paying double what a non-profit shelter could put together. But $200K? Is that really enough to cover the negative fallout this sale will cause?

Shame on Mt Zion Church.