Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets, a center for homeless and struggling youth, will stay open through the end of the year. At least $78,000 in donations came in the past week.
A week ago, a cash-strapped Seattle center for homeless and at-risk youth wasn’t sure whether its board would keep it open past this week.
That was before a last-minute fundraising effort for the center, Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS), started last Thursday, said its executive director, Elaine Simons. In just a week, the center received at least $78,000 in donations, Simons said.
The center’s board decided Thursday night that PSKS would stay open until at least the end of the year, she said.
“I’ve never seen a community outpouring like this before,” Simons said. “I knew we had friends, but not that many friends.”
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It’s only a new start for the center, though, she said. According to development director Bryan Baker, it takes at least $18,000 a month to operate the day center, which runs programs that help homeless and struggling youth complete school and find safe homes. Though the donations gathered in the past week can keep the center alive for a few more months, Baker said, making the center’s financial problems public may make it harder to win grants in the next year.
“We’ve aired our dirty laundry and look financially unstable,” Baker said.
The center’s budget can’t give much, though, Baker said. Laying off staff is complicated because many of the grants require that certain employees operate programs at the center.
The more difficult item to fund is the $5,400 monthly rent for the center’s space at 1814 Summit Ave., the center’s home for nine years, Baker said. The center has a year left on its lease, and Baker wants to operate from a less-expensive location after it ends, if the center can survive that long.
“This definitely isn’t the end of the crisis, but (the donations) have gotten us back to a level so we can keep moving forward,” Simons said.
Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @AlexaVaughn.