19th Ave homeless youth facility PSKS to close as Seattle City Hall pushes away from shelter funding

(Image: PSKS)

Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets, the mouthful of a name, year-round, overnight youth shelter on 19th Ave just off Madison must close before the end of the year.

“The Board of Directors of Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS) has spent the past two years investigating the best possible future for our programs serving youth and young adults experiencing homelessness,” the PSKS announcement reads. “After in-depth conversations with partner service providers, the City of Seattle, and private funders, we have come to the very difficult decision that PSKS must close its doors no later than December 31.”

The Seattle Times was first to report the decision in an in-depth look at what the loss will mean for young homeless people who depend on the shelter’s 25 beds in a city cutting back on emergency shelter spending in favor of “enhanced shelters” and what city officials say will be longer term housing solutions.

“I would consider PSKS to be the canary in the coal mine,” PSKS board member and former board president Andrea Vitalich tells the Times. “Because the entire service-providing model is not sustainable.”

The decision to close the shelter comes three years after CHS reported the sale of the property by longtime owners Mount Zion Baptist Church and the few years remaining on its lease. Continue reading

2018 MLK at Mt. Zion a celebration of the fight against violence — and a standing ovation for the first Black woman to lead Seattle Police

The deadliest weapon in 2018? Hateful rhetoric. What does non-violence mean in Trump’s America? Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo deconstructed and rebuilt the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. in her keynote Friday in front of dignitaries and city officials at the 45th annual MLK celebration at 19th and Madison’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

“Those who position themselves as allies to Dr. King’s commitment to non-violence must join us in our commitment to fight the fights of a discriminatory justice system, to fight the racial violence of our medical system, to fight the violence of systemic poverty, to fight the violence of erasure,” Oluo said inside the Central District house of worship home to one of the area’s largest Black congregations. “And to fight the violence,” she continued, “of taking on the loving heroes and community leaders and reducing them to little more than a speech about a dream in order to further diminish us all.” Continue reading