Non-Profit Helps Homeless Youth Find Success With Music Program

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A non-profit that helps homeless youth is finding success with a new music program as these special beats are keeping kids off the streets.

Edward “Spazz” Pollard has never met a mic he was afraid of.

At 22, Pollard’s words tell a common story.

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He’s one of the thousands of youth nationwide who couch surfed or slept on park benches with no place to go. But two years ago, he found Covenant House and last year the art of music.

“I would use the music as a way to open up dialogue,” said Carl Hill– aka DJ Carl.

Hill is the brain behind “Street Beats” a program here at Covenant House that uses music as therapy.

“These are young adults who have experienced all sorts of homelessness whether it is being kicked out, [or] dealing with mental health,” he said.

Using special software, a keyboard, and a drum machine paid for thanks to a grant from Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Hill creates the beats.

He then helps youth share their experiences artistically, while coaching them on life.

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“I challenge them to not accept being here in a shelter,” he said.

Pollard attributes part of his success to music sessions with DJ Carl as he used music to heal, while learning he can teach others as well.

“I can write songs that mean something, not just random lyrics,” he said.

As he shows the world his courage via song.

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