Homeless adults turn to music therapy for healing

Published: Dec. 24, 2019 at 9:09 PM PST
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In song and in rhythm, music is the universal language we all speak. It creates a harmony among strangers gathered at St. Vincent's Dining Hall in Reno who face the harsh reality of homelessness.

"Just how it brings a small amount of people together, compared to how many people are out there lost, I think it's just really great," Jason Neumann, a participant, said.

Neumann and his friend were having lunch when they decided to join in and sing.

"A lot of cold out there, a lot of people hurting, fighting but you just have to take it for what it's worth," Neumann said. "You have a meal, why not have something else?"

The Truckee River Choir is led by music therapist, Sharon Hickox. She says music therapy provides mental, physical and emotional benefits.

"It stimulates the brain to help people speak again and then in a situation like that to give people a sense of belonging and memories and the music is a way to bring people together," she said.

Hickox said it's easy to write people off but in here everyone is welcome to come as they are.

"Nobody planned on that, you know to be homeless and to just get them to feel like wow somebody cares about me, I still matter in the world even though I'm kinda facing a hard time," she said.

The choir has wrapped up for the season but organizers say they would like to see it expand and continue in the future.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019

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