CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry musicians, and mayors, took to the stage Sunday evening during the second annual Homeless to Hope benefit concert.
The concert aims to raise money for local organizations to help transition the homeless into affordable housing.
“This started as a result of the Mayors Commission on Affordable Housing as a way to have readily available funds to help those to get housing,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “Which is the first step to ending homelessness.”
Local bands, choirs, and vocalists took to the stage, all performing pro-bono for the event.
Hank Futch, Bassist for Blue Dogs
“I think everybody needs to take a vested interest in homelessness and trying to get these people off the streets and help them get back on their feet, Hank Futch, bassist for Blue Dogs said. “So whatever we can do, if it’s just to play some music and help raise awareness. It’s just nice to be a part of the event.”
All proceeds support the Homeless to Hope Fund created by Palmetto Project and the mayors commission.
Last year’s concert raised more than $130,000 for the Homeless to Hope Fund. Now this year, they hope to raise that much or even more.
Steve Skardon, the executive director of the Palmetto Project, said the money has been a huge help to local organizations over the past year.
“We’ve had amazing success,” Skardon said. “People are not necessarily homeless because they want to be and usually it’s some circumstance that prevents them from being able to get back on their feet. So that’s what we use the money for.”
During the concert, even area mayors got in on the music.
Mount Pleasant Mayor, Will Haynie, said working with other city leaders is critical in curbing homelessness in the tri-county area.
“Homelessness knows no boundaries. There are homeless people all over the lowcountry. You cannot leave people behind,” Haynie said. “So, all the municipalities have to work together.”
On Monday, Live 5 News hosted a telethon to raise money for the event. With the public’s support, the telethon raised $6,263 and an additional $5,500 in sponsorships.