Housing is a basic human right, yet many in Charlotte metro area don’t have access to adequate, affordable housing. The numbers speak for themselves. In the Charlotte region alone, 1 out of 5** children that live within 8 miles of Uptown Charlotte are homeless. I can’t believe I just typed those numbers — 1 out of 5.
Chronic homelessness is a problem in the United States as well. As a country, we have made progress in the national effort to end homelessness with a nationwide decrease of 22%. Yet on any given night in January 2015, an estimated 83,170 individuals were living on the streets, chronically homeless. (https://www.usich.gov/goals/chronic)
Closer to home, we’re trying do something to help alleviate the problem of homelessness and help with housing those who are in need. HousingFest is music festival dedicated to ending homelessness in Charlotte. Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Josh Ritter will headline the May 28, 2016 concert at The Fillmore in NC Music Factory. Guided by the Housing First principle that recognizes housing as a basic human right, HousingFest began with the idea that music can unite the community to end homelessness. Proceeds from the event will support permanent apartments with supportive services for those experiencing chronic homelessness.
HousingFest is presented by the Urban Ministry Center (UMC), in collaboration with Live Nation and Maxx Music. The concert features Ritter, named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste Magazine, and Lindi Ortega, whom American Songwriter calls “the love child of Johnny Cash and Nancy Sinatra.”
Matrimony, the Charlotte-based band that Rolling Stone compared to “Mumford and Sons if they were weaned on middle-period Fleetwood Mac” will be making a rare appearance for HousingFest. North Carolina-bred, New-Orleans based Nikki Hill and her band will bring their roaring boogie, equal parts Staple Singers and AC/DC, to the show.
Jim Lauderdale is a two-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter. He’s collaborated with music royalty: Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, and Willie Nelson among many others. Justin Fedor, founding member of The New Familiars and Ancient Cities, will be part of the line-up as well bringing his distinctive blend of Americana rock-and-roll.
Buy Tickets to HousingFest 2016:
The festival’s $39 ticket price is equivalent to one night of housing with support services in UMC’s HousingWorks program.
Tickets are on sale now at.
The inaugural HousingFest in 2014 featured Grammy Award-winning performers The Blind Boys of Alabama and Jim Lauderdale. Held at Charlotte’s Neighborhood Theatre, HousingFest 2014 was a sold-out event, with over 800 people in attendance. Partnering with 14 sponsors to launch HousingFest, UMC raised over $25,000 to house our community’s most vulnerable homeless men and women.
For more information about HousingFest, including sponsorship opportunities, and success stories of people housed with the Housing First strategy, please visit HousingFest.org, a new website created by Luquire George Andrews. For more information aboutUrban Ministry Center, its mission and programs to end homelessness, please visit UrbanMinistryCenter.org.