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Country singer Steven Cade visits City Gospel Mission to bring music to guests' ears

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Jim Gormley Photography

Country singer Steven Cade was scheduled to perform for residents of the City Gospel Mission Wednesday afternoon. Volunteer coordinator Hannah Anderson says homelessness is a traumatic experience, and music is a powerful escape.

"To be able to be in a peaceful environment, even in the midst of maybe being at rock-bottom in life, it just changes everything," she says. "Even if it's just for a moment. Even if it's just for one song."

Cade is also giving the mission a guitar as part of a nationwide tour of shelters. Anderson says the guitar is something she's wanted for the mission's guests for a while.

"I've talked about it over the years: 'Man, I wish we had a music room, or we had instruments and things on hand for them to play,' " she says. "We've had residents before ask too, because some of them have played guitar, but maybe they had to sell the guitar. It's really cool; we've always had a piano, which is great, too. But to have a guitar I think is going to be such a cool thing for them."

Anderson says music, whether playing or just listening, can go a long way in helping people recover from the trauma of being homeless.

She says while the City Gospel Mission provides the essentials, like food and shelter, the concert and the guitar fit into the bigger picture of helping people build new lives.

"For us as staff, and for our volunteers, that's really the goal behind what we do, and when we see that happen, it's the coolest thing - for our residents to realize they don't have to be defined by what they've been through or labels people have put on them, but that they can be defined as who they really are: unique and special and created by God and loved," she says.

Anderson says the guitar is a great gift for the Gospel Mission because some of their guests already know how to play.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.