One of our main goals for the Springfield Street Choir is to serve as ambassadors for the homeless population in Springfield because there’s so much stigma and misunderstanding about what it means to be homeless or housing-insecure, so much fear and apprehension over who our homeless friends are, so many pat solutions to thorny, intractable problems. We want our homeless friends to have a voice in our community, to really be seen and heard and known and loved. And with that end in mind, we’re always glad to be able to take the opportunity to talk to the media, like Chris Six Kolr10 from KOLR10 & Ozarks Local News and get the word out about what the Street Choir is and who our friends are.
Last night was our fourth rehearsal. At our first rehearsal on October 1, we had 16 singers take the leap and trust us on this crazy new adventure. Last night we had 51 singers, ranging in age from 19 to 73, with an average age of 47. In our four weeks, we’ve shared at least one hour of music with 75 people, and learned six songs so far. We have used those songs to affirm each other, to lift each other up, and to express our struggles even as we keep going. We have worked hard, and we have experienced joy and beauty and dignity and community together.
Our singers have very different experiences, different circumstances, different needs — 48% of our singers slept outside last night, 12% slept in shelters, 10% couch-surfed, and about 26% had their own place to sleep last night, some for the very first time in years. But we can come together through music, and lift each other up as we lift our voices.
Finally, as the choir grows, our expenses grow too. Providing incentives to a 50-person choir every week is, obviously, twice as big of an undertaking as providing incentives to a 25-person choir. Please consider making a donation or sponsoring a singer to help us serve our dear friends as best we can. You can do that at here.