Austin is the live music capital of the world and that happens to work in favor of only not music lovers living here but also the homeless population as well. Many of them are musicians and sit out on the streets and play for a living, all while trying to eat, find a place to sleep for the night and protecting themselves from being robbed or attacked. Music is not just a way of making money to them but helps with depression and loneliness as well. We try to give guitars, keyboards and other instruments in order to promote their passion for music, there have even been instances of people who were once homeless and are now successful career musicians.
“You can see what one 3 minute song can do to a person in life.” says Doug Seigers a homeless 63 year old who now has a chart topping country song in Sweden since being noticed on a documentary playing guitar and singing on the streets. He is just one example of how music can be a pathway for homeless people to be successful and gives them a purpose in life. The story of what one news station dubbed as “Homeless Mozart” also comes to mind, about a homeless man who had never touched a piano in his life but played from his heart and made beautiful music simply by playing what he heard in his head. This man is bursting with untapped talent and could easily be a musical prodigy but his surface appearance causes people to judge him as something less than everyone else which nullifies any appreciation they would normally have.
Being a musician myself I have a deep appreciation for someone who plays music simply for the pleasure of it as well as compassion for anyone homeless who are trying to make a living off playing an instrument or singing. It’s not easy in today’s world where technology reigns supreme and there are a surplus of musicians in a town overwhelmed by weekends of music festivals, which puts homeless musicians at an extreme disadvantage. Who knows maybe the next Ed Sheeran or Bruno Mars could be the man or woman who asks you for change at the bus station. Even Bruno Mars was homeless before he became the pop icon that he is today, see the video here.