Last week we highlighted our client, Haymakers for Hope, and had so much fun doing it that we’ve decided to profile some more real life do-gooders. This week, we’ll take a look at our client, Shelter Music Boston. Shelter Music is just what it sounds like; a nonprofit dedicated to bringing world class music to homeless shelters in the Greater Boston area. As the people of Shelter Music put it, they are citizen artists working for social change – “Just as others work to shelter and feed homeless citizens, Shelter Music Boston feeds their souls.”
Erin Nelson of Shelter Music Boston attended our Salesforce Training Academy for Nonprofits in order to implement and understand the organization’s Salesforce instance. In our Academy exit video, Nelson explained what Shelter Music means to her: “Working for this organization has really opened my mind and opened my heart to the plight that is homelessness. It has made me recognize that we’re all just one set of bad luck away from living on the streets. Being able to provide some service to show dignity and show respect to the people who are at homeless shelters–It’s been a wonderful experience for myself.”
Delivering classical music concerts to Greater Boston’s shelters is an important way to restore morale, dignity and a feeling of respect to our homeless citizens. The founders of Shelter Music Boston believe that humans have a basic need for cultural fulfillment and cite research that proves that music has a positive effect on mental health. Nelson points out that the homeless are a forgotten population, but that they deserve the same access to mentally stimulating activities that the rest of our population has in order to maintain their mental and emotional health.
Shelter Music Boston’s first concerts were held at the Kitty Dukakis Treatment Center and Shattuck Shelter in May of 2010. Since then, the organization has expanded to seven shelters, including the Crittenton Women’s Union Hastings House, their first shelter that caters to women and young children. In addition, the organization has received multiple grants and awards. From now until the end of the year, Shelter Music will play three concerts per week at various shelters.
As much as Nelson and her colleagues can speak to their program and mission, the best praise comes from those whom Shelter Music Boston is trying to reach. Said one Shattuck Shelter guest, “The music was water for my soul when it was thirsty.”
Be sure to check out Shelter Music Boston on the web to learn more about their story and how you can help.