The Michigan based bluegrass band DETOUR is donating proceeds from the sales of its song "Homeless Of The Brave" to Goodwill’s Patriot Place project. Patriot Place is a transitional housing community for Northern Michigan’s homeless veterans. DETOUR recently presented Goodwill with a check for $1,000 which is the first of what they hope will be many installments.
The song, which is included on their newest release A BETTER PLACE, was written by band member Jeff Rose as a direct response to a story that he heard on the radio about the plight of homeless veterans. Rose was "stunned to learn that there are approximately 70,000 homeless veterans in this country and over 600 in northern Michigan alone".
The song is a story about American veterans who return home, only to find they cannot get jobs, or in some cases, even find places to live and sleep. The chorus of the song sums up the hopefulness that Detour has for this project:
It's time we stand up and say,
there'll be hell to pay, if another soldier dies upon these streets,
In the richest land on earth, please tell me what it's worth,
if we let them go down in defeat, oh there has to be a way that we can save,
those living in the land of the free and the homeless of "The Brave."
Rose wrote most of the song and finished it on the way to a Veteran's Day performance in Manistee. Rose performed the song with Missy Armstrong, DETOUR''s lead singer that evening to an enthusiastic, lengthy standing ovation. Based on that response and the ongoing feedback that Detour has received around the song they decided to seek a partnership with Goodwill to do whatever they can to assist homeless veterans. Rose noted that "I find it totally unfathomable that this situation exists in America, with all of the abundance that we enjoy".
Michigan "bluegrass powerhouse" DETOUR has two songs from their current album, A BETTER PLACE, in the top ten on the national bluegrass charts and is targeting airplay for the "Homeless Of The Brave" across the country with the goal of helping to raise even more awareness and funds. A BETTER PLACE is available online at Elderly.com, Countysales.com and CDBaby.com. Downloads of the song may be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online retail outlets.
The needs of homeless veterans are significant. Frequently, veterans have experienced horrific scenarios in war zones, resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These challenges often lead to substance abuse issues. Sometime the skills learned while in active duty do not necessarily easily translate into the civilian workforce. However, these men have learned many other very employable leadership skills – they just need our help. Each of these factors can contribute to homelessness, and studies have shown that veterans overcome such obstacles in an environment of their peers.
Goodwill’s Patriot Place helps homeless veterans:
- cope with mental disabilities such as PTSD
- overcome substance abuse issues
- secure income through employment or VA and/or Social Security/Disability benefits
- find permanent housing.