A Band Dedicated to Spreading Music to the Less Fortunate Kicks Off Tour at Union Station Homeless Services

Published : Thursday, November 2, 2017 | 4:44 PM

Lunchtime at the Union Station Homeless Services Adult Center on South Raymond Ave. was louder and more vibrant than usual on Thursday thanks to the World-Soul-Reggae band Luc & The Lovingtons who showed up and played an intimate performance for Pasadena’s less fortunate.

The band, whose songs cut to the core in the likes of artists such as Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and India Arie, kicked off their first show of the Goodness Tour at Union Station, which aims to take music and art to where it can’t be paid for, sharing peace, love and joy with people facing extreme hardship.

“Art and music and being able to express yourself is really important for our residents and our clients because homelessness is really traumatic, it’s really stressful, and it’s really isolating,” said Union Station Homeless Services Director of Special Services Stephanie Harris. “Anytime we have an opportunity to build a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and also an opportunity of self-expression into the experience of our clients–we really take advantage of that,” added Harris.

The Goodness Tour 2017 begins in Southern California with free, live shows at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena, for people navigating homelessness.

The Goodness Tour introduced this novel art as a service concept in 2014 and its members have since completed two Goodness Tours, collaborating with hundreds of participants around the world, in homeless shelters, tent cities, soup kitchens, hospitals and refugee camps in places including Seattle, Portland, Za’atari, Standing Rock, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Goma, Lesvos, Los Angeles and San Diego.

This is the second time the Goodness Tour has made a tour stop at the Adult Center.

“We have musicians and artists come through all the time to do similar performances, but the Goodness Tour is a really unique experience for our residents and hopefully we’ll be able to have them again in the future,” said Harris.

The feel-good live performance by Luc & The Lovingtons featured a paint-based interactive art project which Harris says help homeless residents feel a sense of community and serves as an outlet to express themselves through art.

One of the band members in Luc & The Lovingtons plays “paint” where he starts with a blank canvas as the beginning of the set and finishes with a one-of-a-kind piece at the end of the performance.

“We want them to have every opportunity to heal, to grow, and to find happiness so arts and music opportunities and programs are really important for our clients,” said Harris.

This time around, the homeless clients and residents lent a hand to the masterpiece.

“Clients are going to be able to participate in creating that art piece. They’ll be able to sign their name or add a piece of drawing or painting to it to kind of build this beautiful painting that they’ll have at the end of the day,” said Harris.

According to Harris, the clients enjoy the live music and entertainment that the organization is able to provide.

“Every time we have a band come through our residents are super excited to join in, sing along, and that’s a reason why we really welcome that,” explained Harris. “We actually just had a couple of other musicians come through to do a different performance this week so we are really lucky that so many people want to come and bring music and arts to the lives of our residents,” Harris added.

Union Station’s next event is the annual Thanksgiving Dinner in Central Park on Thanksgiving Day where the organization is expecting to feed between two and three thousand individuals who are experiencing poverty or homelessness, free of charge.

To learn more and to donate to Union Station Homeless Services, go to
www.unionstationhs.org

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