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Helping Homeless Youth in Manila – Songs for Shelter 2020

Songs for Shelter, Philippines

Featured artist Reneé Dominique and her family share the same mission as Songs for Shelter. Given the gift of music, they believe that it can be a channel to holistically help children and their families have a better life. They joined San Diego Youth Services to create a concert that benefits homeless youth both in San Diego and in Manila. Donations from Songs for Shelter 2020 benefit youth in the Philippines.

Manila’s Youth in Crisis

A community of almost 200 youth, ranging from ages 2-19, live in makeshift houses under a small bridge. When it’s raining, the creek floods and they all have to move up into the street or move out to a government barangay, or village, hall.  

Reneé has been an only child for 10 years, and seeing kids begging on the streets made her ask her parents to bring them home. One night while in the car, she suddenly cried after seeing 2 young teens wiping our windshield, holding an empty can and asking for coins to feed their family.  It was then she told her Mom that she would want to do something for these children, maybe even build an orphanage someday.

Volunteering for Change

Reneé’s dad Ding Pionso has been helping disadvantaged children for the past three years. As a part of several outreach programs, he and other volunteers serve weekly meals, organize medical and dental care, and send unschooled youth to alternative learning systems by partnering with local government programs. During the pandemic, he has organized a livelihood program for mothers and their families to help them have their own small business.