Kanye West and Common are among the artists who will perform Friday (Nov. 5) in New York to benefit the New Life Project, an organization that aims to end homelessness in the United States. The show will be the first in a series of planned awareness- and fund-raising events that includes a televised benefit concert tentatively scheduled for Thanksgiving 2005.
Friday’s show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom will also feature performances by the X-Ecutioners and Musiq. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.
Lawyer Michael Fox founded the not-for-profit New Life Project after a chance 2000 meeting with a homeless man in New York. The organization plans to work with existing groups to greatly reduce widespread homelessness.
According to the organization’s Web site, the proposed Thanksgiving 2005 event will feature artists performing original songs based on the poems and stories of those who have experienced the realities of homelessness.
“The concept is to create a musical biography through which people will intimately relate to the homeless experience,” the site says. “We feel that by getting to know those who have been homeless as human beings, hearing their stories and caring about them, we can better understand the realities and complexities of the homeless problem and how to address it with effective solutions.”
Living Colour singer Corey Glover has already recorded one song, “From Dusk Till Dawn,” based on a poem by Billy Rorie, the formerly homeless man who inspired Fox to found the New Life Project.
In addition to the televised concert, which will be similar to Comic Relief and the post-9/11 America: A Tribute to Heroes telethons, a companion music and multi-media compilation is being planned. That release will include a documentary on the homeless individuals contributing material to the project.
Also in the works is a spring 2005 From Dusk Till Dawn event that will simulate the experience of spending a night in a homeless shelter.