Pearl Jam partners with local groups to fight homelessness

SEATTLE -- Fresh off their Home Shows in August, Pearl Jam is center stage again.

This time, partnering up with “A Way Home Washington”, “All Home” and First Lady, Trudi Inslee; launching a new program focused on ending homelessness in four Washington communities by 2022.

“We want every young person who is experiencing homelessness, every person who is experiencing homelessness, to have the opportunity to have a home,” says Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam.

It’s called the “Anchor Community Initiative” and will primarily focus on youth homelessness.

It’s set to launch in four communities: Pierce County, Yakima, Walla Walla and Spokane County.

“This is not an I-5-centric issue. This is across the state. Who would ever dream that the cute little Walla Walla wine community would ever have an issue with homeless kids, but we do,” says Senator Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla.

“This Anchor Community Initiative is a cohort of four communities across our state right now. And we want to clone them and have them in every county in the state eventually, which I think we can do,” says First Lady, Trudi Inslee.

Organizers say the hope is to eventually expand to a total of 12 to 15 communities across Washington state by developing a plan to cover prevention, long term housing, treatment services, employment and educational opportunities.“The Home Shows, Pearl Jam, The Raikes Foundation and Glassy Baby are proud to launch this effort with seed funding of 1.3 million dollars for the King County effort, as well as the state wide “A Way Home” effort,” says Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.

The iconic Seattle musicians, crediting their own fundraising efforts of over 11 million dollars during the Home Shows, to more than 160 Home Show partners.

Pearl Jam says this is the first major donation to come out of the Home Shows fund and this initiative is one of the band’s “centerpiece investments” in addressing the homeless crisis.

“If we can’t do it here, we can’t do it anywhere else. Something’s wrong,” says McCready. The first meeting of the Anchor Community Initiative will be held in Lake Chelan next week.