Last week I was asked to perform at the Garner Farm this Saturday afternoon in a benefit show called One Boogie. The show is an event co-hosted by Youth Bridge and Feed Communities, the aim to raise funds to fight homelessness in Arkansas. When I was first asked, I knew nothing about the organizations, and little about homelessness in Arkansas. It didn’t take much research to discover that Arkansas is at the lower end of homelessness rankings in the United States, and what was more startling were statistics on homeless youth (under 18) in Arkansas. (more statistics)
I guess the stereotype I always associate with “homelessness” is the old guy panhandling on the street. It’s easy to walk past, maybe throw him a dollar, maybe not, and forget about the encounter pretty quickly. It can be easy to forget, because we think there is not much we can really do to help an older man out of work.
But to think about over 18,000 children in Arkansas experiencing homelessness each year is not as easy to ignore. It IS possible to effect their futures. We ARE their futures, in a sense. Contributing to organizations like Youth Bridge and Feed Communities is a way to offer these young people something that they may not otherwise experience: Stability.
There are many problems in the world, and we live in a divided and excitable time when political disagreement and media inflammation can quickly turn neighbors to enemies. But what these organizations, and One Boogie is offering Arkansans is a way to get to the root of tomorrows problems in America. Teaching troubled youth what stability looks like gives them that much more opportunity to grow into stable and productive adults.
So, I will be performing along with Candy Lee and Benjamin Del Shreve from 2-5 on Saturday, June 28th at the Garner Farm in Fayetteville. Tickets are 20$, or 30$ for a pair, and there will be healthy food provided by local vendors. Please join us in helping these organizations attain the necessary resources to continue the fight against homelessness.