LA Mission, Maverick City Music Hosts Free Concert | Art & Events
As a community in downtown Los Angeles, Skid Row is not often thought of as a collection of people. Instead, the stretch of road laden with tents is marked with overdose and crime statistics. It’s an image that Los Angeles Mission CEO Troy Vaughn has dedicated his life to changing for the better.
On Monday, July 25th, LA Mission is hosting a “Summer Day of Service” with a free concert by Grammy Award-winning gospel group Maverick City Music to mark the start of the Skid Row Revitalization Project, whose mission is to save the living strengthen Skid Row.
“We really wanted to do something in our community to rebuild it as a community based on how people see Skid Row, not as a nuisance to watch, but to understand that there are real people out there who do.” community live and work here,” said Vaughn.
“If we could really start sharpening our collective energy to focus on that, wouldn’t it be great if we could restore it back to how it could be? A service hub, a place for low-income people to live, mixed housing, a true community that we can provide to low-income residents in our neighborhood but that also needs to thrive in harmony with local businesses.”
Through the Skid Row Revitalization Project, Vaughn hopes to bring together community members, advocates, organizations and government partners from across DTLA and create a space where people feel safe and find opportunities to create better lives for themselves and their families.
“I wanted to create an environment where we could just come out and be neighbors and start there in that place and then build a conversation about what it’s like to be a community and keep the community together,” explained Vaughn.
“So, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could create a carnival-like environment and then make it a benefit concert? Then we would create resources and awareness and open those resources to people who would use them. Often these people don’t have the opportunity to go to concerts and appreciate this type of space because they can’t afford it, so what if we brought it to them?
In addition to Maverick City Music’s live performance, which will perform to a sold-out crowd at the Crypto.com Arena the night before, LA Mission will be providing food and essential supplies to residents of Skid Row.
Offstage, Maverick City Music plans to spend the day personally giving back to the community. Nearly 2,000 attendees are expected at the gated street festival, which will feature outdoor fellowship, prayer requests, free on-site showers, hygiene kits, giveaways, raffles and bicycles donated by Metro.
“We have companies like Amazon, Home Depot and Hilton coming in to offer jobs locally,” Vaughn said. “We will have haircuts, a beauty salon and showers for people to feel like they are ready to talk to a person about a job opportunity. We’ll have housing vouchers that we can give to people on the spot if they want to get off the street. … They call it. We must have everything.
“It’s just about time we embraced the fact that we’re part of the human race and part of the community. So people are free to come out and be a part of this and let your light shine freely so that we can see the greater work in humanity.”
Vaughn also expressed that the importance of this event to each and every member of the Skid Row community cannot be overstated as their community becomes more woven into the fabric of DTLA.
“It’s going to mean the world to them because eventually everyone in the community sees them as part of the community, and I think the greatest win of all time is knowing someone is seeing them,” Vaughn said.
To volunteer resources or time for LA Mission or the Skid Row Revitalization Project, visit losangelesmission.org.
“I believe that over time, the momentum built on our consistency will draw more and more people into the process of community change,” Vaughn said. “I really hope that there will be more effort, not just at the city but also at the county and state level, to take advantage of these opportunities to come together as a community and take control of our own future.”
The Summer Service Day of the Skid Row Revitalization Project
WHERE: Mission Los Angeles, 303 E. 5th Street, Los Angeles
IF: Monday, July 25, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m
COSTS: Free admission
THE INFORMATION: losangelesmission.org