"Warm Beats for Cold Streets" provides soup and clothing for the homeless

The Mile High Sound Movement is a collective of artists, ranging from MCs and producers to photographers and artists. Zack Karuzas, both a rising local MC and co-founder of Mile High Sound Movement, spared his lunch hour to talk with us about "Warm Beats for Cold Streets," a project started by MHSM to raise money, food and clothing for the homeless through donations for concerts.

What exactly is "Warm Beats for Cold Streets?"

We started it two years ago, around November 2009, and basically wanted to try and get donations for the homeless in exchange for entry to our shows. It went great then, but then we took some time to focus on music, and when we got that really dialed, we started back up. We got some more organizational skills, and then the gem show came around, and I was able to raise about $135 through a silent auction. We took that money and spent it on food, mainly chickens and stuff to cook up for soups. The recent Harvest Party at Cervantes' yielded a pretty good turnout. How much were you able to raise at that event?

The Harvest Party was great because we were able to get so much food and clothing. We ended up getting four large trash bags full of jackets, hats and warm clothing. I took that stuff to the laundromat to get cleaned so we could give it out comfortably down at the Denver Rescue Mission. We also got some food to go along with the soup.

How much food and clothing did you end up giving out?

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I went down to the Mission with probably one-third of all the clothing, set up a table, and just waited and hoped people would come by. At first everyone was real unsure of what we were doing, but they came around when they realized we were just down there to help. Of the money we raised, I used most of it to buy chickens to cook down and make soup. So I cooked those, boiled the bones for the broth and made soup to give out. I called up the Sunflower Market over on 38th to ask about donations, and they said it could take up to two months to hear back. Not an hour later, I got a call and they said they would donate potatoes, carrots and celery for the soup. It all just came together, and we were really able to help out a lot. Why is MHSM wanting to get involved with this?

There are cold people out there, and I'm super grateful for what I have. I feel like people don't know that for the price of a new pair of Jordans, you can get ten gallons of soup. Ten gallons! So I guess I could go buy new Jordans or just drop that on soup. People focus on what all these rich people are doing on a big scale, but don't realize that even the small stuff counts. It's not much for a three-gallon batch of soup, and that lasted almost all day. After all is said and done, we still have some cash left over to help out this coming Sunday and hopefully rally for some more coming into Christmas.

How was the turnout at the Rescue Mission?

The people that were there came back for seconds, hopefully because it was that good. It doesn't take much, you know, to just start something small, and that's what I'm learning. Any of us can do this, even if it is on a small level, and I see no reason why MHSM can't be doing this all winter.

To donate, or find out how you can help out with Warm Beats for Cold Streets, contact Zach Karuzas at (720)933-4514, or by email at Kruzakid@hotmail.com.

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