The 15-year-old nonprofit Home Alive, which provides affordable and gender-inclusive self-defense classes, will close its doors within a month.
The decision last week by the board of directors "comes as a huge shock to us all," says self-defense instructor Addie Candib. "People -- the entire Seattle community -- have a huge stake in [Home Alive]." School groups, local nonprofits including Real Change and its vendors, and individuals alike have participated in classes. Few alternatives exist for low- or no-cost self-defense workshops.
Home Alive began in 1993, after the rape and murder of vibrant local musician Mia Zapata, when a collective of local musicians and artists came together to discuss options for creating a safer community. The Capitol Hill organization offers a unique approach to self-defense, not only teaching the physical tactics of self-protection but also demonstrating how to set personal boundaries and exploring how words and tone are fundamental to effective communication.
For the past eight years, Home Alive has survived primarily on donations from individuals and local businesses; and those funds have ebbed while the organization's debt has risen to nearly $25,000.
Though the program is closing for now, Candib says it may reopen if it can settle its debt. The group is seeking donations. It's also holding a community meeting on their future on Sun., Feb. 8, 1-3 p.m., at its office and studio at 1415 10th Ave., between Pike and Union. As February comes to a close, Home Alive will need help with a variety of tasks from making phone calls to cleaning their studio.