The Y is Ending Youth Homelessness
Last updated: December 12, 2018, at 12:57 p.m. PT
Originally published: December 11, 2018, at 6:02 p.m. PT
SEATTLE, WA – The YMCA of Greater Seattle launched UnHeard, a campaign that lifts the voices of young adults housed by the Y by pairing them with local singer-songwriters to turn their stories into songs. All content will be shared through UnHeardSeattle.org.
According to All Home’s annual Count Us In, there are over 1,500 youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in King County. The YMCA of Greater Seattle is the largest provider of housing for young adults experiencing homelessness in King County, providing 280 young people with a safe place to sleep on any given night. Of those in the Y’s transitional housing program, four out of five go on to find permanent housing.
“UnHeard is a critical campaign for the Y. We’ve been providing housing services for over 15 years, and this campaign will bring the Y’s work in ending youth and young adult homelessness to the forefront,” said Mark Putnam, Executive Director for Accelerator Y, the social services branch of the YMCA of Greater Seattle.
Local artists ParisAlexa, LeRoy Bell, Scarlet Parke, SassyBlack, and Ryan Shannon have been paired with young adults housed through the Y and will be releasing music through the end of December that addresses the issue of youth homelessness drawing on the young adults’ personal stories for inspiration. UnHeard will lift the voices of young adults experiencing homelessness to raise funds and awareness for the Y’s housing programs and support services.
Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation will match all donations made to UnHeard, dollar-for dollar, and songs by ParisAlexa and Sassy Black will debut on KEXP. Hubbard radio and VML, a marketing agency, have also provided in-kind support for the UnHeard campaign.
“I’m profoundly honored to use my music to help give others a voice,” said singer-songwriter ParisAlexa. “My hope is that through music and outreach, we can break the stereotypes that surround people living under difficult circumstances and show them the real story.”
Donations to UnHeard will support a number of the Y’s programs that help prevent homelessness or support those experiencing homelessness, including: eviction prevention, family crisis response, transitional housing, rent assistance, education and employment resources, counseling and therapeutic support, and more.
To learn the stories of youth experiencing homelessness, hear their songs, and give to the Y, visit UnHeardSeattle.org.
About the YMCA of Greater Seattle
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is the Northwest’s leading nonprofit organization strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Founded in 1876, the Y reaches more than 253,000 people of all backgrounds, abilities and financial circumstances annually through 13 branches, two overnight camps and more than 200 program sites throughout King and south Snohomish counties. It nurtures more than 142,000 kids and teens to develop their gifts and give back to our community and engages nearly 23,000 volunteers who contribute more than 372,000 hours of service each year. Visit seattleymca.org