Annual One Night Count (and PSKS Slumber Party)

The night before PSKS went to Olympia for Youth Advocacy Day, we participated in King County’s annual Count Us In, a youth focused version of the One Night Count, opening our doors to any homeless youth (our usual capacity is 20) to help the County get as accurate a count a possible.

While we are disappointed to see that the number of people who were unsheltered increased again this year, PSKS began making additional efforts to help address this issue, including expanding our shelter to 7 nights per week and securing funding for an additional case manager.

Click here to look at the results from the One Night Count and look below to see photos from our annual Slumber Party!

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PSKS Celebrates Annual Secret Santa Party

On Christmas Eve over 50 PSKS participants, staff and volunteers gathered to celebrate our annual Secret Santa party. After a full meal (and so many pies) PSKS participants went into the red room where they were able to receive brand new boots, warm winter clothing, tents, sleeping bags, gift cards and many other survival items necessary for being on the streets.

As usual, the event was a festive time as all facets of the PSKS family were able to come together to celebrate each other and the work currently being done at PSKS.

Special shout out to Katie Keller, Becky Wood, Heidi Jacobsen-Watts and the Biella Foundation for your support of this event.

Check out the pictures below:

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Meet the Interns: Jade!

IMG_0949“We don’t have a place.”

Jade, one of the current Queer Youth Community Organizing (QYCO) interns, is not talking about housing. They’re talking about a safe space where homeless Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) can come together to have their voices heard, to create a dialogue, and to share resources.

But let’s take a step back.

Jade, who prefers They/Them pronouns, has been off-and-on homeless since they were 13. It has been a struggle since day one, finding a way to survive on their own, seeking support. Put simply, Jade describes their experience as “a 24 hour hustle.”

Jade first heard about PSKS from other homeless youth. They knew PSKS as the only drop-in center on the hill, and knew especially about the employment opportunities we offer. They originally applied for the QYCO position 2 years ago but stopped pursuing the internship after gaining employment.

Jade’s interest in the QYCO position stems from their passion to do community work, to work for social justice causes. Their current project (held Thursday, March 3rd at PSKS from 5:30-8:30) is an LGBT/QTPOC Homelessness Forum and Resource Fair featuring a presentation, a panel, and then an open forum to increase dialogue. The resource fair will precede the program and will feature 15 organizations that provide support and resources to the LGBT/QTPOC homeless communities.

This project aims to connect different people who are all part of the social justice/service community. Jade hopes that this event will help people have a better understanding of other’s perspective’s, on both sides. Jade points out that people have good intentions and want to help, but can’t if they don’t fully understand the needs of the people they’re serving.

Jade wants service providers to know whether or not their resources are making an impact in the LGBTQ and QTPOC homeless communities. If they’re not making an impact, how can they do better? If they are, how can they expand and reach more people? The dialogue from this event will help answer these questions.

Jade is undoubtedly a leader in the QTPOC community. They want to continue being a voice for those who haven’t found their own, to continue making an impact. They continually face barriers and stigmas. But Jade knows that they can be a role model for those facing situation similar to their own, something Jade never had.

Jade has never seen someone like them working at a business, working at a non-profit. Jade wants to work with other members of the QTPOC community and inspire them to become advocates, to seek the mental health support so often denied, and, most importantly, to create the life they deserve.

 
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Thank You PSKS Volunteers!

On November 5th, staff, interns and participants came together to thank the over 100 volunteers who have donated their time to PSKS in the last year. Volunteers are a vital aspect of our success and help with anything and everything including being on the Board of Directors, tutoring students, doing mock interviews for LEAP, teaching classes like yoga, helping us with IT issues, serving meals, and volunteering at our events, just to name a few. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Will at will.ross@psks.org

Here are the winners from the nights awards:

Board Member of the Year: Katie Keller who is the Board Secretary, organizes Secret Santa and brought 50 of her closest friends to the gala.

New Volunteer of the Year: Jim Crotteau who works in the kitchen every Friday, bringing warmth and energy

Tutor of the Year: Doug Phillips who tutors in RISE and then works on any other project he can get his hands on including redesigning our memorial wall.

Technical/ Contracted VolunteerTie between  Alyssa Pizzarro who teaches yoga every Monday and Wes Chandler who worked miracles on our computers, especially around security

Participant’s Choice Award:  Jane Lamb, the Cookie Lady! What else needs to be said?

Longevity Award: Jack Lee who has helped with our IT work for 13 years!

Longest Active Tutor: Lisbet Nilson who has tutored in the RISE classroom for 5 years.

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My World Matters

Mmyworldmattersy World Matters follows 6 LGBTQ Homeless Youth in Seattle as they visually tell their stories. The opening of the exhibit will be at the Capitol Hill Library at 5:30pm and will include a panel description. The exhibit can be seen at the Branch through January 3rd. Thank you to the Northwest Network at the Seattle Public Library for their support. Click here for more information!

 
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