Benefit concert raises money for homeless shelter

A benefit concert at Take Root Cafe brought over 110 people together and raised nearly $800 for AM Housing to support its mission of helping the homeless and home insecure in Adair County.

“AM Housing is a local non-profit organization that was started by former mayor Glen Moritz in the summer of 2017 with one goal in mind: to provide shelter for all of those who are in need in Northeast Missouri,” said Jimmy Clemens, AM Housing fundraising chair.

Currently, the board is working to build or purchase a homeless shelter in Kirksville. Clemens said the board hopes to accomplish this by the end of this semester.

Clemens said his involvement with AM Housing began after he organized a potluck to get to know more vegan and vegetarian people on campus.

“Sally West, a vegetarian professor, she came to the potluck and she brought her husband, [board President] Glen Moritz,” Clemens said. “He started to talk about the issue of homelessness and home insecurity, which I had no idea about, in Northeast Missouri, and that drew me in from there.”

After that, Clemens began attending AM Housing board meetings to learn more. He and Moritz began talking and eventually — after someone had stepped down from the board — Clemens became an official member.

Clemens explained that the “AM” in AM Housing stands for Andrew Moritz, Glen Moritz’s late son, who died of a rare form of cancer.

He inspired family, friends and work colleagues by words and actions of love and encouragement,” Clemens said. “It is only appropriate that Kirksville’s transitional housing be name[d] in honor of someone who lived such a selfless life of giving to others.”

Clemens said he was not heavily involved in planning the benefit concert, but he did his part by helping with advertising and greeting concertgoers as they walked into the venue.

The concert featured rock band Strange Accents. Guitarist Lucky Lind said when the band heard about the homelessness in Kirksville, it contacted AM Housing in hopes of helping in some way. Much of the information the band received about homelessness in Kirksville came from Glen Moritz.

“Moritz has done such a brilliant job keeping people informed,” guitarist and vocalist Eldon Bargate said.

Bargate expressed that the band planned to have enough energy at the concert to send a rocket to Mars and back again. He said Take Root Cafe waived its usual fee for the the use of its facilities, so the band donated that sum — $100 — to AM Housing.

“Such a nice town, so many homeless, it’s terrible,” Lind said.