By Rachel Vick
A newly formed Astoria civic organization is using music to raise money and feminine hygiene products for residents at a local family shelter.
The Hell Gate Bridge Alliance will host a concert fundraiser in support of the Westway Inn Women’s Shelter on Saturday, Sept. 7. At least 16 musicians are scheduled to perform at the Astoria Singer Song Swap, which will take place at Athens Square Park. The artists will perform covers of each other’s randomly assigned songs, according to the Facebook event page.
The shelter, located near the Jackson Hole Diner, was previously a motel before being converted into a temporary emergency shelter for women and children. More than 58,650 people, including 21,146 children, stayed in New York City’s municipal homeless shelters on Aug. 7, according to the most recent daily census published by the Department of Homeless Services.
For homeless people who menstruate, including women, girls and trans men, the cost of sanitary pads and tampons can be prohibitive.
To help address this issue, concertgoers must donate feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads to enter the event.
Handmade t-shirts by artist Red Sagalow and snacks from local vendors will be sold to try and meet the HGBA’s $2,000 fundraising goal.
Women’s homeless services organization Win and The Right to Shower are sponsoring the event with the HGBA, which formed earlier this year. According to Facebook, their goal is to “[raise] money for causes that matter, in the community we love, through artistic events that inspire.”
The event is open to people of all ages.