Mayor Murray announces expanded shelter beds for Seattle’s homeless youth

Today, Mayor Murray announced the increase and year round expansion of shelter beds available exclusively for homeless youth. This expansion is made available by an additional $130,000 investment with Peace for the Street by Kids from the Streets (PSKS) to extend its temporary cold weather shelter to a year round, five day a week operation. In addition, the bed capacity in this shelter will increase from 15 to 20 total by June 2015.

“In a region like ours where there is such tremendous wealth, it’s heartbreaking that any of our youth experience homelessness,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “That’s why it is vital that we provide a warm bed, a pillow, and some relief from the dangers of the street. While permanent, safe housing is the ultimate goal, securing these additional resources will mean a few more young people every night won’t have to sleep on the streets.”

“We are thrilled by the news that the City of Seattle will extend funding for PSKS and Mt. Zion Baptist Church to continue our collaboration to shelter homeless youth and young adults beyond the winter months,” said Susan Fox, Executive Director, PSKS. “This shelter is often the last resort for many of the youth we serve as many have pet companions, identify as LGBTQ, and are dealing with difficult life circumstances. I commend the mayor for recognizing this critical need and addressing this service gap.”

The added shelter beds announced today are consistent with the Mayor’s Emergency Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness recommendation to add new shelter beds to meet the needs of unsheltered homeless young people living in Seattle.

“I am pleased by Peace for the Street by Kids from the Streets and Mt. Zion Baptist Church for their commitment to providing safe and decent shelter for Seattle’s homeless youth,” said Catherine Lester, Director, Seattle Human Services Department. “Any viable solution to youth homelessness will require partnership and collaboration with services providers, community groups and the faith community as demonstrated in this important project.”

PSKS has been operating a 15 bed youth shelter, five nights per week at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle’s Central District. This shelter was originally funded by the Mayor for the first quarter of 2015 as a temporary cold weather shelter and as overflow for other youth serving shelters in the city.