This is where LA's homeless get a voice. The kind of voice you belt out from deep within you.
It's karaoke in the heart of Skid Row, as KPCC's Mae Ryan depicts in the video above. From Congo lines and dancing with mike stands to heartfelt renditions of soulful ballads, karaoke at Skid Row's Central City Community Church of the Nazarene provides two resources that are hard to find in LA's roughest neighborhood: a place to express yourself and a good time.
"They open up to the music and the song... You see a true side of them that you would never think. That nobody outside on the street would never know," one man shared.
The evening affair was started 15 years ago by Pastor Tony Stallworth and his wife. Just seven years before that, Stallworth was drug-addicted and living on the streets himself. Now, he performs impressive duets with his wife and says of the karaoke night, "We're just having a blast. What a riot!"
Along with the fun and camaraderie, Stallworth says, "It’s one of the only things that [the homeless] can come and do where they get their five minutes of fame."