Celebrities sing to help homeless families

Celebrities sing to help homeless families

June 22nd, 2011 in Local Regional News

Local celebrities will sing to benefit Chattanooga's homeless families at the Interfaith Homeless Network's Celebrity Sing Off June 23 at 7 p.m. at Lindsey Street Hall.

"It will be karaoke style with Clay Danger as the DJ," said IHN board member Kelly Brexler. "The singers will pick a song and the judges will pick a song for them. We will serve desserts and champagne."

Interfaith Homeless Network Board member Kelly Brexler, left, and IHN Executive Director Mary Ellen Galloway are planning the upcoming IHN Celebrity Sing Off. The pair stand at the new Hamico Foundation-sponsored playground at IHN.

Photo by Katie Ward/Times Free Press.

Admission is $20 and all proceeds will benefit Chattanooga's IHN, a local nonprofit that keeps homeless families with children and adolescents together by helping them find stability, employment, housing and self-sufficiency.

People can vote for their favorite singer as many times as they want by logging onto www.ihnchattanooga.org/singoff. The fee is $1 per vote.

According to IHN Executive Director Mary Ellen Galloway, the local celebrity singers sound like famous stars. She said Amanda Buchanan sings like Janis Joplin, Dr. Adam Fall sings '80s-ballad style, Mike Griffin sings like James Taylor, Jim Brexler sounds like Garth Brooks and Rachael Welch has a unique sound all her own.

She said the sing-off will help IHN continue to assist homeless families. IHN has a day center in downtown Chattanooga that teaches money management, parenting, nutrition and shopping-on-a-budget classes. IHN provides vouchers for food and clothing and also offers computers, a library, playground, laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms to homeless families.

"We can take up to 22 people at a time," said Galloway. "We transport them to 50 different congregations for housing."

Galloway said the IHN budget is $170,000, so fundraisers and volunteers make all the difference in helping the homeless.

Kelly Brexler said she first decided to become a part of IHN after meeting a little boy her son's age at IHN who needed a home.

"Homeless families are still the fastest-growing population," said Galloway. "The economy has exacerbated a bad situation."

Galloway said families typically need assistance from IHN for 48 days before they are ready to transition to housing.