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Compassion in Action – First Presbyterian Church Hosts Concert for the Unhoused at Mosswood Park

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Brass Band MJ's Brass Boppers perform at the Compassion In Action - Concert for the Unhoused at Mosswood Park Amphitheater in Oakland. Photo By Carla Thomas

By Carla Thomas

A free concert, Compassion in Action, was held for the unhoused at Oakland’s Mosswood Park on Monday afternoon, June 12.

Headlined by blues favorite and local icon Faye Carol, the event also featured New Orleans Brass Band MJ’s Brass Boppers and blues titan Bernard Anderson and the Old School Band.

The semi cloudy day provided heat protection as guests enjoyed the sights and sounds of traditional jazz and blues flowed from the park’s amphitheater throughout the park near the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Broadway.

Event organizer Pastor Matt Prinz of First Presbyterian Church of Oakland says the idea for the event came about during the church’s work in the community.

“Our food service ministry serves about 300 meals a week and through conversations with those people and musicians we know is where the idea sprouted up,” said Prinz. After receiving a grant, Prinz and organizers thought it would be a great idea to provide the unhoused a day of fun with free entertainment food along with information to connect them with services.

“There’s a lot of festivals in Oakland. Not all of them are available for our unhoused neighbors, so we decided to dedicate a space specifically for them but invite everyone.”

Concert attendee, 24-year-old Payton Hanks said she lives in her car and has been in California for four months. “I was driving by and heard the music and it’s wonderful because I’m from Louisiana,” she said as MJ and the Brass Boppers performed. “The weather is great, and this is my kind of music.”

When Arlene Loman of San Jose, said she got off at the wrong bus stop on Broadway, she heard the music and walked into the park’s amphitheater to the sounds of Bernard Anderson and the Old School Band.

“It was meant to be,” said Loman. “My mother used to sing the blues, so it’s really nice to walk into a free, open space concert.”

Volunteers distributed free food and unhoused people were provided services and programming for them at one booth. Security was provided by Glad Tidings Church in Hayward.

Post co-publisher Gay Cobb, a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, found the event uplifting. “When we find ways to bring all of our neighbors together, we’re really onto something,” said Cobb.

The post Compassion in Action – First Presbyterian Church Hosts Concert for the Unhoused at Mosswood Park first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.

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