Many of us would be excited to go to the Walt Disney Concert Hall but for those recently homeless such an evening was a great surprise. Ex-homeless men living at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles' Cardinal Manning Center (CMC) on Skid Row, alumni of the center with their own apartments and a family living at St. Vincent de Paul Family Housing, plus Society staff went by limousine December 10, 2013 to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to see the Blind Boys of Alabama perform.
The concert was the gift of an anonymous donor, facilitated by the Society's senior director of advancement Barbara Gunning, who also secured the limousine. For most who made the trip, it was their first time at the hall and first hearing the Blind Boys sing gospel and Christmas songs. Participants in the evening were very excited. CMC case manager Hannah Petcovic said, "I was really impressed when I came downstairs at the center and everyone was all dressed up."
All the participants seemed delighted with the gospel-flavored performance of such songs as "White Christmas" and "Christmas in Dixie". CMC alumnus Richard Mesa said, "It was my first time at the hall. It's beautiful." Another participant said of the performance, "On a scale of one to 10, I give it an 11!"
Photos: Participants in front of the hall, and all dressed up for an evening out.