On Saturday, October 20, 2018 Grammy Award winning singer Brandy will take the stage at the Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric for the annual “An Evening of Unexpected Delights” fundraiser to benefit “The Journey Home,” Baltimore City’s 10-year plan to make homelessness a rare and brief occurance.
The plan centers on a best practice known as “Housing First,” which emphasizes an increase in programs for men, women and families experiencing homelessness, as well as the better coordination of existing services.
According to organizers, about 35 percent of Maryland’s homeless are in Baltimore City, enough to fill the seats at The Lyric, which holds 2,564 people.
“The Journey Home brings together the public and private sectors, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and concerned citizens to work on solutions for preventing and ending homelessness,” said Chuck Tildon, vice president of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships at United Way of Central Maryland, which serves as the fiscal agent and marketing partner for The Journey Home in an earlier interview.
“The Journey Home focuses on addressing fundamental causes of homelessness; the lack of affordable housing, inaccessible health care, inadequate incomes and a lack of coordinated services,” Tildon said.
In January 2008, the Journey Home board adopted what they called, “The Journey Home Strategic Priorities.”
The purpose of those priorities is to create a strategic framework for continued commitment and collective action. The priorities and strategic plan are complementary documents that contribute to the vision that homelessness in Baltimore will be rare and brief occurrences.
“The Journey Home was launched in 2008 in response to the growing call for cities nationwide to develop concrete plans to end homelessness in their respective communities,” Tilden said.
“An Evening of Unexpected Delights,” the annual fundraiser for the initiative began in 2011— a collaboration of presenting sponsor, Centerplate, the Baltimore City Mayor’s office and the United Way of Central Maryland.
Funding for The Journey Home come from a combination of public and private sources and the annual benefit provides needed flexible funding that is allocated based on real time need by Baltimore’s Continuum of Care.
“Understanding homelessness and why it happens in Baltimore, along with the types of homelessness people are experiencing— from transitional to episodic— is the key to making homelessness brief,” Tildon said, noting that efforts have led to the reduction of homelessness among veterans by nearly 30 percent over the past three years.
The fundraiser stands as a signature event, which organizers put a lot of effort into making sure of its success.
“We pride ourselves on this annual event of unexpected delights by surprising the sponsors, friends and family who support our great mission,” Tildon said.
Brandy is a Grammy Award winning performer and “we are confident that she will score a home run for us,” said Tonya Miller, the senior director of public affairs in the mayor’s office.
Brandy first rose to fame in 1994 with her debut hit, “I Wanna Be Down.” The Grammy-award winner also starred in the leading role of the successful 1990s sitcom, “Moesha,” and put together a string of hit albums and singles, including “Never Say Never,” which sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. Her duet with singer Monica on “The Boy is Mine,” spent 13 weeks at number one on the U.S. Singles Charts. Brandy went on to star in other television and movie projects like the horror film, “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Tickets for the 8 p.m. event are $49.50 to $79.50 plus fees. VIP tickets, which include a 6:30 p.m. reception are $99.50 plus fees. General admission tickets are available through Ticketmaster.