Our project started in 2009. A high school friend of ours in Michigan has a day job, but he also sings and plays guitar. He played at a fund raiser one night and after his set he met the director of a local homeless shelter. Joe asked if he might play at the shelter one day. The director said that was a nice offer, but there really wasn't an entertainment budget. Joe said that was no problem, he would play for free if she would let him. "No one has ever offered that before Joe, thank you!"
Joe and his wife Chris played at the shelter a short while later. During his set, Joe played a song called "And Then Some", written by Vietnam Veterans about suicide. While he played, a young homeless girl left the room in tears. Afterwards, the director brought her up to meet Joe.
"Not a country music fan I take it". It isn't that she explained. She said that it was her senior year when it happened. That was when her dad murdered her mom, and he made her watch. He was arrested and she was suddenly alone in the world. She had tried her hardest to make it work, but things were not easy. She ended up homeless. She eventually found the shelter. The staff was helping her find her way, but things were not the same and life was a struggle. Despite giving it her best, she was overwhelmed. That morning, she decided it would all be easier if she just went to be with her mom. No one would miss her anyway. Then she heard Joe sing his song.
Joe and Chris have been back to the shelter each December since then, and we've helped them financially. We still do. But in 2013 we decided to replicate their event here in Southern California.
Partnering with LA Area Homeless Shelters we seek to share the Spirit of Christmas with those who once risked so much, but who now find themselves with so little. And your generosity makes it possible. On behalf of the Homeless Veterans who we help each year... Thank You!
Christmas Dinner for Homeless Veterans