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Members of the Voices Of Hope Choir join together to try to rebuild their lives

April 02 2013 | no comments

They’re often the people who have no voice. The homeless.

But one group of men and women who’ve had no place to call home are using their voices to bring a newfound harmony to their lives.

Detroit 2020 visited the Voices of Hope choir.

No matter the genre—for this group—it’s ALL soul music.

71-year old Ralph Duncans is part of the Voice of Hope choir.  Twice incarcerated—he also spent 17 years on the streets. “Every day my life is getting better, everything is getting better,” Duncans told Detroit 2020.

Duncans and the other men and women—all homeless—or formerly homeless—come together as they try to rebuild their lives. The Voices of Hope Center—and the music—help with the healing.

“The choir and all of us, we like one big happy family. Yes, we have our ups and downs, but we love each other. There’s nothing that we won’t do for each other…and we do go out of our way to do it for each other,” said choir member Daniel Heard.

Detroit 2020 was on hand during a recent practice session in southwest Detroit.

“In the last 4 and a half months that we’ve started this, we’ve been able to house 81 people, we’ve fed over 10,000 meals,” said Jake Salazar, Jr., the founder of the Voices of Hope Center.

And now the choir is singing for others to raise money to equip a new location for the center and the services it provides. “We need to build a kitchen there so we can continue doing this and then a van so we can go around and collect them and help get there and take them back wherever they are in different shelters,” Salazar told Detroit 2020.

Warming.. feeding.. clothing.. fellowship.  And housing.

“It’s a good feeling to be clean, to be able to have your own keys to your own apartment,” Duncans said.

For Ralph.. it’s the first time he’s had a place to call his own.. in years.

“That’s our goal, is to find them housing, that’s why we’re singing,” Salazar said.

Each person here has a story but the common threat is homelessness. They’ve come together and their voices are those of hope for something better.

To make a donation, you can send a check made out to the Voices of Hope Center, to:

Voices of Hope Center

P.O. Box 1245

Southgate, MI  48195

Or you can call (313) 995-2451.

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