On Saturday July 22 at the White Horse Bar in Oakland, Eye’z performed at a benefit put on by Cseneca St James and the Imperial Star Empire of Alameda and Contra Costa counties chapter of the International Court System to help collect personal care products for the Crossroads homeless shelter. In addition to personal care items, a little over $1,000 was raised. Eye’z is a talented singer, pianist, and actress, based out of the Bay area who has been performing since the tender age of four. In addition to writing and performing her own music, she also performs cover songs of the artists that have most influenced her. This is not Eye’z first appearance to raise money for the Crossroads shelter. On June 10th, she had another performance at the White Horse Bar, also to raise money for the shelter. Eye’z also helps to raise money for various other charities. Not only is Eye’z a talented performer, she is also a role model for those younger than her and for up and coming artists.
The Crossroads homeless shelter is part of the East Oakland Community Project which offers emergency and transitional housing in the Alameda County, California area. Crossroads has 125 beds. In addition to providing homeless people with shelter, they also have wrap around services to help the people who enter their doors become able to have homes of their own once they leave the shelter. Without these services, some of the people that pass through the shelter would not be able become self-sufficient and therefore able to sustain their own home. With the economy such as it is, the homeless shelters in this country are stretched to the limits, not only in the number of people that they serve, but also in being able to provide the very basics that the people they serve need. Crossroads is only one of the programs of the EOCP. They also have a traditional housing program and a program for homeless youth.
Having worked as a case manager in a woman’s homeless shelter, which also had a men’s homeless shelter as part of the network, I can attest to the fact that personal care items are always needed. When donating to homeless shelters, people think of things like food and clothing, but they don’t always think of personal care items. A lot of the people who enter the doors of a homeless shelter have nothing or very little, so they need things such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and razors. Also, women always need things like tampons or pads. They are constantly in need, but not always donated. Since money is often scarce in social service agencies, having these things donated is very important to shelters. When they are trying to pay for things like food, heat, and electric, shelters don’t have the money for all of the important things needed. This is why it’s very important that performers such as Eye’z, Cseneca St. James, and the Imperial Star Empire, do what they can to help. Social service agencies can’t do it alone and everything donated, whether it be money or some type of product, is vital to the existence of them. There are many performers who don’t do things to help give back to their communities, which is why people like Eye’z are to be commended.