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  • Carolyn Gauthier

Bringing Healing Music to New Friends in Sonoma County

In 2017 we made a special point of expanding our program by adding several facilities and making new friends in Sonoma County. Although we have had a presence in the North Bay since 2001 (when we began serving Sonoma Juvenile Hall), we wanted to bring the healing power of live music to more of our neighbors to the north.

COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) does great work and offers a much-needed program for housing-insecure individuals and families in Petaluma. The Mary Isaak Center, an adult emergency shelter, is a safety net for people who are getting a fresh start on life. The adults in residence there enjoyed fantastic music by pros John Allair and Julia Harrell, David Luning and Ben Dubin, as well as Avery Hellman and Andy Kallick of Ismay, among others. COTS Kids First Family Shelter has 35 beds for children and families who were all delighted by the antics of musician Spike Sikes and the songwriting talents of Elaine Lucia.

Host Susanna Praetzel reports; "Serving up a lively mix of jazz, blues, and funk, John Allair and Julia Harrell brought the folks at C.O.T.S. a wonderful Bread & Roses show that clearly brought joy and healing to all in the room."

Turning Point in Santa Rosa is a residential program of Center Point DAAC (Drug Abuse Alternatives Center) for men and women who are overcoming addiction and co-occurring mental health challenges. In this rigorous program they are learning life skills that will help them put their lives back on track. Through Bread & Roses shows, they have experienced how to have good, sober fun while listening to many talented performers including Teresa Tudury, Dirty Cello, Lisa Kindred and Miracle Mule.

PEP (Petaluma Ecumenical Properties) Housing is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing limited-income seniors access to affordable quality housing with supportive services and advocacy. These folks have enjoyed shows by Richard Bolmen, Bohemian Highway and the Babushka Brothers.

Windsor Care, also in Petaluma, “seeks to create a culture of healing that is life affirming, satisfying, humane and meaningful.” Enter Bread & Roses Presents! At this recently added facility, we bring music and interaction with a variety of artists and volunteer hosts to elderly and convalescing patients.

Sonoma County is rich with musicians who are happy to do shows close to home. We are always looking for more volunteers to grow our program, so please spread the word about the good work that is being done all over the Bay Area. Click here for the volunteer application on our website.

Video/Photo Captions:

1) David Luning and Ben Dublin showcase their harmonica skills at COTS Mary Isaak Center, April 2018

2) Miracle Mule rocked the house at Turning Point with their swampy tonk music, December 2017

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