Homeless Adults Work Through Trauma Using Music

Homeless men and women in Dallas are healing and working through mental and physical trauma using music.

Music therapy is the use of song and sound to address mental or physical illnesses. Kamica King, a certified music therapist, leads a group of homeless adults through several music and lyrical sessions at The Bridge Recovery Center in downtown Dallas.

“Music therapy is a huge benefit for someone who is experiencing homelessness,” said Kamica King, who is also studying to receive her Masters at Southern Methodist University.

“There’s a lot of stress that comes along with homelessness. Their past may include some trauma as well,” said King.

Using songs, rhythm, and sound is different than traditional therapy. It can help the client relax and begin to address their pain.

“It can allow them to, just for that moment in time, to be focused on something that is positive and something that can bring them joy,” said King.

Music therapy can be implemented in the mental health sector, the school system, and the hospital system to help people rehabilitate from injuries.

In the last year, the homeless population increased 24 percent and the homeless veteran population increased 21 percent, according to the Dallas Homeless Coalition Mental health.

“I come heavy, but I leave light,” said Alvin Johnson, a homeless veteran. Johnson was born in McKinney, TX but was later raised in Dallas.

“I like the music therapy because it takes my mind off from everything else. I’m learning some different things from it,” said Johnson.

It’s estimated 10,000 people are waking up every morning on the streets of Dallas without a place to live. Of that number, 3,700 of them are children.

The Dallas Commission on Homlelessness surveyed a group of homeless families, adults, and children regarding their needs. The group says their number one urgent need is affordable housing, and the second need is mental health care.

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