The Dallas Street Choir just returned from a whirlwind tour through New York City and Washington D.C., performing four times and seeing all the sites. For many members, a trip like this was a first — because they all happen to be homeless.
The trip was about more than performing on a grand stage. It was about seeing another part of the world, and having fun.
While the Carnegie performance was definitely a highlight, there were a lot of small moments that seemed to mean even more to the homeless men and women who made the trip. They traveled and performed with another group, a community choir called Credo based in North Oak Cliff.
Brown says there was no “us” versus “them” dynamic.
“We were all on the same bus, we were all in the same hotel. Regardless of who had what money, we all had money that day. We all got food to eat that day,” he says.
Brown took his first flight on this trip. He didn’t love the landing, but says he’d do it again. He took a boat to see the Statue of Liberty. He strolled through Central Park. He didn’t feel invisible.
“What the trip meant for me was I could actually go above and beyond homeless,” Brown says. “I don’t have to have a roof to be successful.”
Brown sleeps under a bridge right now. His choir mate Christina Boyer is also unsheltered.
“I kind of use the canopy of the stars above me to shelter me and use him as my shield and sword,” she says.
She says the trip was awe-inspiring. They sang at two churches, Carnegie Hall and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
Boyer says she loved singing with Credo; the power of both choirs together was something she didn’t expect. And she says she’ll never forget seeing the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
“One single carnation fell on my side on the ground next to where we put the wreath down. And to me it was like the symbol of love and beauty and blood. And so it really, really meant something to me. And it was an honor,” she says.