The homelessness situation in Seattle has reached staggering new rates. In a study by the YMCA of Greater Seattle, it was reported that: "On a single winter night in 2017, volunteers counted 11,643 people experiencing homelessness in King County, a number that represented an increase of more than 9 percent a year on average since 2014. Almost half were sleeping outside rather than in an emergency shelter."
The Accelerator YMCA is the largest provider of housing for young people in King County. (You can hear an interview with Kristen Brennan, Senior Director of Programs, here.) They also strive to provide homeless youth with access to employment & educational support, behavioral health services, and family services all in one place.
With their new UNHEARD Seattle campaign, Accelerator YMCA hopes to share the story of Seattle's homeless youth through music. Local musicians are paired with someone who has experienced homelessness, and together, they collaborate on an original song. Over the next couple of weeks, KEXP is excited to share some of these new pieces, including today's premiere, the song "Peace" by Parisalexa and Xavier, a young man who made a huge sacrifice for the sake of his family that led to homelessness. Accelerator YMCA shares his story:
For their song, Parisalexa's soulful ballad sings of the gratitude Xavier feels and how he hopes to pay it forward with his own work with local youth. Listen below, and learn more about the UNHEARD Seattle series here.
Accelerator YMCA provides holistic support to young people and their families who have experienced trauma to help them be safe, successful, and happy.
At 19-years-old, Parisalexa boasts more wisdom than most of us could say we did at her age on her latest EP Bloom.