New Brunswick

'Street people are my people': homeless man donates guitar to Fredericton shelter

A man who wrote and produced his own album while living on the streets in Fredericton used the money from his album sales to buy a communal guitar for the shelter that he most often calls home.

Mike Kennedy produced an album while living on the streets — then used proceeds from the sale to buy a guitar

Mike Kennedy, 62, has been homeless much of his life, but said the key to surviving is not letting it become hopeless. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

A man who wrote and produced his own album while living on the streets in Fredericton used the money from his album sales to buy a communal guitar for the shelter that he most often calls home. 

Mike Kennedy, 62, lives with multiple sclerosis and says he finds solace in music. He wanted to make sure other people at the St. John House for Men homeless shelter could enjoy it as well.

"Music has been a part of my life since I was in my teens," he said. "Music is not a distraction to life it's a soothing, relaxing thing."

Mike Kennedy donated a guitar to the St. John House for Men homeless shelter he stays in. He bought it with money he made from sales of an album he produced while living on the streets. (Fredericton Homeless Shelters/Submitted)

Kennedy can often be found on Saturdays at the Boyce Farmers Market selling copies of his CD, titled New Brunswick Music.

He said he plays for the other men who stay at the shelter and is also teaching other people to play guitar.

"Everyone loves it, you know," he said.

At home in the shelter

Kennedy said he feels most at home at the St. John House for Men.

"I love these people," she said. "Street people are my family."

Warren Maddox, the executive director of homeless shelters in Fredericton, said the sense of family that Kennedy feels is something he witnesses every day.

"It's a wonderful gift," he said.

"For the most part they are a good bunch of people just trying to make it in the world."

Maddox said Kennedy represents the good that can be found in society.

"Even though he has some hard times, he's a good man and I think people need to know that."

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