Hip hopsters rally to help Olympia’s homeless
Hip Hop 4 The Homeless, a benefit concert that also offers food, clothing, and services to those in need, will be held at The Olympia Ballroom Sat., March 10 and Sun., March 11.
Saturday’s concert will feature 10 performers, including Tacoma Poet Laureate Antonio Pito Edwards and Afrok and The Movement. On Sunday, services such as free haircuts, massages and donated clothing will be offered to those who need it.
Hip Hop 4 The Homeless was established in 2002 in Vancouver, by local artists as a way of giving back to their community. The benefit concert has since moved to Olympia. It is organized by local DJ Jose “Luvva J” Gutierrez Jr., who hosts the event, and Hilary Hacker, a disc jockey for KAOS, Evergreen University’s college radio station. This will be the tenth year for the benefit.
“This benefit show is not just about homelessness or poverty, but about the power of community,” said Hacker, “We couldn’t pull these shows together without the hard work of all the artists and volunteers who have partnered with us over the years.”
More than 400 people attended last year’s event, including one hundred volunteers. The event raised nearly $1,000 and provided food, clothing, and services to hundreds of the area’s homeless.
James “Afrok” Bowman, who performed at last year’s event, said with similar benefit shows now in cities such as Sacramento and Baltimore, there’ potential to expand Hip Hop 4 The Homeless.
“There are many people who need that extra push, whether it is food, clothing, blankets—just giving them that ray of hope, a hot meal and some entertainment to take their mind off of things for a while; it’s really a beautiful thing. I think Hip Hop 4 The Homeless would be successful and beneficial, not just for Olympia, but Seattle, Portland, and so many other cities with a need for help for the less fortunate.”
The Saturday show begins at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door, although clothing or non-perishable food donations are accepted. No one will be turned away. On Sunday beginning at
10 a.m. hair stylists, masseuses and clothing and food donations will be available for those in need. Sunday’s services end at 4 p.m. All remaining donations will be given to local shelters and food banks.
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