Faces of Santa Ana was started by Brian Peterson and his wife Vanessa after an encounter with friend and neighbor Matt, who is homeless, led Brian to paint Matt's portrait. Brian now paints portraits of the homeless in Orange County, California, sells them, and the proceeds go back to help the homeless community.
On October 16, Faces of Santa Ana put on an event called Elephant in the Room, designed to accelerate a public conversation about homelessness in Santa Ana. The very successful evening demonstrated what unity is possible connecting all kinds of folks in dealing with the issue of homelessness. It took place at the Young American Salon and there was an art show and silent raffle, with food provided by Hakuna Murata and desserts b...
John Safari is the President and Co-Founder of the Orange County Music League in Southern California. John and his growing crew work tirelessly to promote shows, sometimes over a dozen a week, in many different cities. The OCML, many of whose members have experienced life in the streets themselves, promotes a vision of the end of homelessness. Until that goal is realized, they regularly distribute free food and clothing to the homeless. The OCML has an ever-expanding network of 300 bands in California and is looking to partner with like-minded musicians and promoters across the country.
Astrow is a young artist/poet from South Central Los Angeles, now living in the High Desert area, where many LA residents have moved because it's much cheaper there. He grew up in foster care, which is another form of homelessness. Astrow explains that "I recognized the people's conditions and it was strange to me that no one ever had something to say." So he began to say it himself through art, poetry, skateboarding, and hip hop. Astrow's fundamental message: "I believe anything is possible."
Let It Bleed
The boondocks iron city full of rum and drugs
South Central slums no fun is where I'm spawning from
The 90's unwind me to the time these Devils tried to blind me
my opponent is myself and only i can define me
I experienced the stree...
This is an excerpt from Lee Ballinger's Love and War podcast. Ballinger is a formerly homeless Vietnam veteran who lives in Los Angeles, where he is an author, poet, and producer. You can check out his podcast at:
Ernie Perez is the lead singer of the Boxing Gandhis and the founder of Rock A Mole (rhymes with guacamole) Productions in Los Angeles. Rock A Mole has staged several legendary cultural festivals and produced the film The Ultimate Song about music's role in the struggle to end poverty. Ernie is also the artistic director of House of Common Thread, a growing network of street ministers which collaborates with organizations and artists from all over Southern California.
All the instruments on this track were played by Michael Hakes, a musician who played in the bands of Natalie Cole, Cher, and the Pointer Sisters and wrote music for film and television. Like so many musicians, Michael didn't have health insurance so when he started...
Chicago-born poet and emcee Michael (Mic) Crenshaw fell in love with music at a young age while living in Minneapolis. His teenage years were challenging as he actively confronted white supremacist gangs that were a growing part of the hard-core music scene.
He eventually chose to escape the violence and moved to Portland, where he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest, and his community efforts have had both local and international impact.
In addition to his highly-acclaimed work in spoken work and Hip Hop, Mic co-founded GlobalFam, a non-profit project to create and maintain a computer center for disadvantaged youth in Burundi, Central Africa. Over 400 people have received free training, and it is now e...
Lesedi has lived a life on the streets since age 16. A byproduct of an unstable military father and an evangelical mother, Lesedi has developed a unique perspective of the world and of his place in it. 50 Stars is a song about police violence in poor communities and the need to redefine the American Dream.
Scott Montgomery is the grandson of steel mills and coal mines south of Pittsburg and raised in the Southern California sun. The result is a dual citizenship of eastern work ethic and blind romantic optimism. Home is both Los Angeles and New York City. His Hollywood Street Kid series documents and aspires to bring awareness to the issues of youth homelessness and human trafficking. http://www.smontgomery.com