Kingston Coalition Against Poverty holds fundraiser concert

The Goodnight Irenes and Mtmbryoyo to play at event 

The Goodnight Irenes.
Credit: 
Supplied by The Goodnight Irenes

With the help of The Goodnight Irenes, Kingston Coalition Against Poverty (KCAP) is helping the homeless one ticket sale at a time.

On Thursday, KCAP is hosting a concert with The Goodnight Irenes and Mtmbryoyo at The Mansion. KCAP president Ian Clark organized the concert to support a local partner organization, Kingston Street Mission.  

“It’s an important event because—aside from it being a great night of music obviously—the proceeds are going to the Kingston Street Mission, which is quite a valuable community resource for those in Kingston living in extreme poverty,” Clark said.

The outreach group, Kingston Street Mission, provides the homeless with food, clothing, companionship, and basic shelter. The organization is raising funds for a kitchen renovation, in addition to maintenance.

Clark said the evening’s bands were early supporters of the event, adding it practically fell into his lap.

“It’s a funny story. [A] Goodnight Irenes member, Chris Morris, is a friend of [KCAP], and we have a lot of friends in common,” Clark said. “He asked if we were doing any fundraising now or in the future and to let him know.”

Morris’s expressed interest in supporting KCAP and the Kingston Street Mission made the event possible.

Since joining KCAP 12 years ago, Clark's found a community of people who share the same priorities and goals as himself. He joined after noticing the challenges Kingston homeless face, leading him to take a more direct role searching for a solution.  

“I got involved 12 years ago because I saw a problem unfolding and I stumbled upon KCAP,” Clark told The Journal. “Essentially I saw it was a group that aligned with my values.”

KCAP works in Kingston offering supports for those living in poverty and providing services to people directly.  

Thursday’s event used KCAP’s connections in the arts community to further the organization. For Clark, this concert fundraiser is both advocacy and a service. The evening’s fundraiser will support buying resources and sharing information on the 10-year Kingston Housing the Homelessness Plan.

As part of this advocacy work, KCAP wants the city to direct more resources toward shelters.

“A focus right now is also advocating for the 10-year Homelessness Plan, and maybe thinking about putting some more funding into the shelters while they’re waiting for the housing to be built,” Clark told The Journal.

“The idea was that they would close the shelters as the need diminished. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is the need hasn’t diminished, but they have gone ahead with the closings anyways.”

The concert is an effort to educate the public on the state of homelessness in Kingston, both on the street and in city council’s promises. KCAP wants attendees to be well-versed on local homelessness—even when they sing along.

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