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Concert shares songs telling stories of homeless people

The 2008 HeartSongs from the Edge of the World Concert emerges from relationships among people of different social and economic experiences.  Scriptwriters and musicians listen to stories of homeless people and create original songs that convey their experiences and feelings.

harpist
Harpist for HeartSongs Benefit Concert on Dec. 7

The third annual concert presents human faces to help the audience see homelessness with new eyes, said the Rev. Michael (Redhawk) Rice-Sauer, pastor of Covenant Christian Church, guitarist and composer.

He hopes participants will ask: “What keeps us from seeing? What filters our sight and clouds our vision of homelessness and homeless people?”

The concert is at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7, after a 5:30 p.m. silent auction at The Bing, 901 W. Sprague.

The program includes blind comedian Jim Green, the Voiceless Choir of homeless and formerly homeless families, and Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, performing an original  hip-hop song based on a homeless teen from Crosswalk.

Redhawk thought when he began engaging in issues of homelessness and started the Voiceless Choir that it might be a short-term project.

“God was in the process.  Hungry children drive me crazy,” he said, “and I formed relationships with people.  Some are now doing well.  Some are not.”

The project has expanded to include the Covenant Homeless Initiative, which is inviting congregations to adopt, shepherd or mentor local homeless families as congregations did to resettle refugees from Vietnam, El Salvador, Russia and other parts of the world. Congregations will recruit mentors who will be trained to support families with housing, food, clothing and education until they are back on their feet. 

“In the process, we hope relationships will develop as they have with international refugees,” Redhawk said.

“My dream is that everyone from fundamentalists to Buddhists will meet at the human place and create healing across their traditions as they express their passion to care for others as they care for themselves,” he said.  “It’s not just about writing a check but about touching people’s lives.”

HeartSongs will benefit Volunteers of America’s Crosswalk program that serves homeless teens, providing food, education and resources, and the Voiceless Choir that empowers adults and children as they give concerts and record and sell CDs.

“Music and the arts expand people’s daily lives, feeding their souls in ways nothing else can,” said Redhawk.

For information, call 448-1311 or visit covenantchristianspokane.org/heartsongs.html.