LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Musicians Service Coalition held their fifth annual Warm Up Louisville benefit at Zanzabar Sunday.
The group of local musicians aims to make sure the city's most vulnerable community is protected this winter, using their music to collect warm winter items.
Things like clothing, blankets and tents, not only for humans but also their furry companions and it goes directly to the streets to be used as soon as possible.
“It was breaking our hearts to see folks downtown freezing in the cold,” said LMSC Co-Founder Heidi Stenson.
Stenson got together with Chad Graham five years ago to figure out what they could do with what they had to offer, their music.
“Somebody needs to do something about this, and that’s become our tag because we are the somebody,” said Stenson.
They formed a coalition of musicians who wanted to do the same.
“I see it a lot, so I think about it a lot and this was something to look forward to as far as knowing that I’m doing something,” said singer-songwriter, Kelly Newton.
They’ve partnered with organizations like Forgotten Louisville and My Dog Eats First that are actually on the streets working with people who cannot go to a shelter because of a pet, their partners, or other reasons.
“It’s really important to meet these folks where they’re at,” said Stenson.
Stenson and Graham realized how complex the issue is and how daunting this kind of fight against homelessness can seem to the outside world.
“People constantly ask, how can we fix this? How can we change this? I think that offering tangible tools an actual physical way people can get involved is so wonderful,” said Stenson.
It seems to be working for the coalition, as people just kept on coming through the door.
“I think most people want to do something, they just don’t know what to do and this is easy. People come out, have some fun, then they can give something,” said Tom Parmenter as he dropped off a bunch of blankets.
Stenson and Graham never imagined how big it would actually get and said since partnering with Zanzabar, the event has really taken off.
Last year they brought in a crowd of around 150 people and collected over 1000 items.
This year, they filled a box truck, a trailer and it was a full house all night long.