- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - “Homeless people are people, too. If we help them, they’ll make it through. Homeless people are just like me and you.”

This simple message is the chorus of a song, “Homeless People,” written and performed in a slow, reflective style by vocalist/songwriter Sam Malinowitzer of Smithfield Township.

Another verse from the song goes: “We all have to remember life is a funny place; we could all be homeless if not for God’s good grace.”

The song notes there are also U.S. military veterans who are homeless and need help.

Malinowitzer, 62, is selling packaged copies of the song on CD and video on DVD to raise money to benefit area homeless.

“The money raised will go to buying basic necessity items for people living on the streets,” said Malinowitzer, a U.S. Army Reserve veteran and former salesman.

“I plan to personally go around to the homeless at food pantries, see what they need and use the money to get those things for them.”

The Monroe County Homeless Initiative was formed early last year to address the issue of homelessness.

Last spring, the group opened a day center on Lower Main Street in Stroudsburg, giving the homeless a temporary address from which to apply for forms of identification, jobs and housing.

Seeking an agency that could ensure the day center would effectively connect the homeless with the services they need, the Homeless Initiative later contacted Philadelphia-based Resources For Human Development, which works to help the homeless, drug/alcohol addicts and the developmentally and intellectually challenged.

Earlier this year, the Homeless Initiative closed the Lower Main Street day center and RHD opened the Street2Feet Homeless Outreach Center on First Street in Stroudsburg.

Malinowitzer was volunteering at the Lower Main Street day center last year when he met Chris Lentz, 53, and Mike Storm Jr., 39, both homeless.

Malinowitzer and his wife took Lentz and Storm into their home, providing temporary housing until both men could get back on their feet.

As of Monday, Lentz and Storm were both employed and still living with the Malinowitzers.

A Nazi Holocaust survivor’s son, Sam Malinowitzer was raised on the idea that people should believe in something greater than themselves and help the less fortunate.

The religious songs he wrote reflect this belief.

In meeting and getting to know some of the homeless, he found people who, despite their circumstances, live with just as much dignity and self-respect as those who have homes.

“Meeting people like these is what inspired me to write ‘Homeless People,’” he said.

Malinowitzer’s wife’s grandson, keyboardist Nicholas King of Stroud Township, arranged the music and recorded the song in the basement studio in King’s home.

Humbert Fernandez of Middle Smithfield Township shot the video, which shows scenes including a homeless tent in the woods and homeless people waiting in line for meals at New Life.

Among those appearing in the video, which Malinowitzer dedicated to his mother’s memory, are Malinowitzer, Lentz, Storm and homeless military veterans Steve Clark and Jordan Cox, as well as New Life pastor Gary Sampson leading a group in prayer at the food pantry.

The CD/DVD container’s front cover shows a picture of Lentz and Cox, standing by a tent in the woods in the wintertime, with the word “hopeless” at the bottom.

The back cover shows both men (now dressed better) with Cox dressed in his military uniform, standing in front of a house, with the words “hope restored” at the bottom.

“This is how it can be for the homeless if we help them,” Malinowitzer said.





Information from: Pocono Record, https://www.poconorecord.com/

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