Photocharity’s “Taking Music & Art to the Streets” program provides homeless youth ages 12-24 with free lessons in music (8 instruments to choose from) and art, a hot meal, chiropractic care, clothes, shoes, haircuts (monthly), and social services (ID, food stamps, health insurance).
Youth are given the incentive to return; if they come for 6 classes, they earn an instrument (or art supplies) of their choice. Many use these instruments to perform and get money to eat.
Because they spend 2 hours with our team during each class, youth realize that we are there to help them and trust grows much more quickly than in traditional outreach programs. Youth who want to go into housing are offered weekly mentorship meetings with staff, instruction in resume writing and job interviews, and assistance with rehab and housing placement.
Our working partners are The Episcopal Church Center in Ocean Beach who generously donates space, and Blues Lovers United, who provides music instructors.
TMATS has received written endorsements from U.S. Congressman Scott Peters, San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer, CA Senator Marty Block, and CA Assembly leader Toni Atkins. It was also named Best Youth Program in 2013 by the Ocean Beach Town Council.
Anywhere from 6 to 37 youth have attended Taking Music & Art to the Streets each week.
- $150 pays for 2 weeks of hot meals or for 1 guitar
- $300 pays for 1 month of hot meals or 1 guitar & 1 keyboard
- $500 pays for instruments for 5 youth who have earned them by coming for 12 hours of instruction
- $1,000 pays for 3 months of hot meals
- $5,000 pays the annual cost for all musical instruments needed for classes, or the annual cost to buy all the instruments youth have earned by coming for 12 hours of instruction, or the annual cost for all of the hot meals