UNHEARD Seattle Premiere: ParisAlexa Shares the Story of Homeless Youth, Xavier, in the Song "Peace"

KEXP Premiere
photo by Dusty Henry (view set)

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:

Xavier grew up in Puyallup, WA. When he turned eighteen and became a legal adult, he had to leave his house so that his family could stay on their Section 8 voucher. Xavier became homeless and moved to Seattle in search of resources. Xavier came to the Y and enrolled in an employment program, and was housed within one week. He lived in two of the Y’s transitional houses for a period of nine months. Xavier is currently stably housed in an apartment of his own in South King County and works for a community center as a youth mentor.

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.

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