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Concert to raise funds for homeless

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Paul was homeless for 10 years, struggling between his drug addiction and helping his friends on the streets of San Francisco.

His life and death last year, at the age of 39, inspired his older brother to organize an all-day concert Saturday, March 21, to raise money for the Salt Lake Community Shelter and Resource Center, Utah's largest homeless shelter.The Murray man - he asked the Deseret News not to use his name - is a full-time student at Salt Lake Community College.

He's a stranger to fund-raising and only visited the shelter for the first time last semester as part of a class assignment gathering donated blankets.

But he knows music - the harmonica, drums, guitar and keyboard - and he believes the event can make a difference in the lives of people like his brother, Paul.

Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 11 bands will play at the Vineyard Church, 1945 S. Redwood Road, as part of the Spring Jam Benefit. Admission is $5 at the door.

"It's quite a bit of effort on his part," said Chris Adamson, project coordinator at Traveler's Aid Society, which runs the shelter. "He has taken it upon himself to do something."

Blues, folk and alternative rock will be played by local bands like the Killer Tomatoes, Gigi Love, Basic Belief and Mocha Joe.

The man doesn't doesn't know how much the benefit will raise, but, regardless of its success, he's committed to the project.

He'll also be on stage, playing harmonica and drums for the band Leslie Jones and the Spin Coasters.

The event caps off his college finals week.

"I think I bit off more than I can chew," he said. "I'm getting very few hours of sleep, but the more I get involved in public service the more I want to do.

"I feel like there is a great need for this and there are a lot of musicians out there who would like to help."

He last saw his brother two years ago on Thanksgiving. Drugs had taken their toll on him, but Paul felt very strongly about helping his friends on the street, his brother said, even though he lived there himself.