Hip-hop and cannabis communities help Phoenix’s homeless community

Last week, dozens of Valley hip-hop heads traveled 150 miles to Flagstaff to smoke weed in “The Pines” with their favorite rap stars, Twista, MIMS, Lil’ Flip and d others, during the Beat Therapy 2k concert. The music festival benefited the homeless community of Phoenix.

“We receive a percentage of the funds from this event to help homeless people in the Phoenix metro,” said Tammy Broselaw, co-founder of the nonprofit Tom’s Palms. “VhopNation organized the event.” The two entities, although separate, collaborate on restitution events in the Valley.

On Friday, July 29, despite flood and monsoon warnings ringing from cell phones throughout the morning and afternoon, Broselaw and his fellow Phoenicians on the Underground braved the bad weather and headed for the north on Interstate 17.

Rapper Tempe Sour D, Jefro’s Botanicals crew, rapper Phoenix Dudda2Kutta and Ladiebug Haviland, plus folks from Veterans For Healing, Axis Studios, The Higher Cactus and OMG Goudness, formed caravans.

Phoenix New Times followed the groups and climbed 7,000 feet above sea level in the rain. Finally, around 5 p.m., the rain subsided as we parked in Fort Tuthill County Park amidst thousands of pine trees. Performances were held at the Pepsi Amphitheater in the park.

Broselaw and her husband set up a tent and spoke with spectators and New times.

“These funds will be used for our ID program in Phoenix,” Broselaw explained. “We can now get IDs for those who don’t have an address.”

Broselaw, Tom’s Palms Vice President Sheena Williams and 501(c)(3) volunteers locate people living on the streets and help them with water, food and coins ‘identify. “Their eyes go wide when we tell them we can get them ID,” Broselaw explained. “Without ID, there’s nothing you can get help with or do. You can’t get your IRS check, and you can’t go get a check or cash n anywhere.”

Check cashing services require customers to present state or federal photo ID.

Broselaw continued: “You can’t get a job because you can’t prove who you are. You can’t get an apartment because you don’t have ID. You can’t get health insurance, even from the state, if you don’t have ID.You can’t get a food card without ID.

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Lil’ Flip performs “Game Over”.

Michael Madriaga

The nonprofit initially provides signed vouchers to people living in the streets, alleys and parks of Phoenix. “Then they take that paper to GG&D,” she explained. “The office is at 43rd Avenue and Glendale, and that’s where they get their IDs.”

GG&D is a founding member of the 3rd Party Motor Vehicle Association in the Valley, offering vehicle title transfers, motor vehicle registration, duplicate titles, temporary permits, notary services and other services MVD in Arizona, including ID cards.

Broselaw continued, “We pay the GG&D $27.50 per ID. Then we ask if (the new ID recipient) has a job. companies that will hire him with his new ID.”

Recently, Broselaw’s organization created jobs for five people living on the streets. “Because they all have [now] have IDs,” she added. “And they all still work there.

Last year, Tom’s Palms, named for the fathers of Broselaw and Williams, served more than 6,000 meals and provided toiletries and clothing to those in need. Recently, the organization received a large donation of Delta Air Lines gift bags, which are designed “for first-class travelers,” Broselaw said. “Everyone had a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, a ChapStick and a pair of socks. People love it.”

The dispensaries also offer cannabis-related products to the nonprofit organization to distribute for free.

“That’s another reason we’re here, to let people know what we’re doing,” Broselaw said.

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MIMS takes a fan on stage.

Michael Madriaga

Like many attendees, Broselaw and Williams smoked weed at the event. Broselaw smoked to soothe his back and leg aches, especially after the temperature dropped below 70 degrees that night. “I was in a wheelchair for a while,” she said. “Then after I entered the cannabis community in Phoenix, it changed everything. I don’t take painkillers anymore and I don’t need a wheelchair anymore.”

Rapper Tempe Sour D was one of the first performers on stage in the late afternoon. Then, later that night, she watched rapper Twista perform. “He always goes away,” she said of the artist’s fast-paced style. He can rap close to 600 syllables per minute. “It was nostalgic, I grew up watching it.”

Williams also connected with Twista after performing his 2004 cut “Slow Jamz,” a Grammy-nominated song that featured Kanye West and Jamie Foxx. “I gave him a hug and our Tom’s Palms business card,” she said.

Williams then bonded with Lil’ Flip, a Houston rapper who performed “Game Over” on stage with a joint in his hand. “We had a session: I had my blunt and Lil’ Flip had the pre-roll that I gave him,” she said.

Afterwards, MIMS performed “This Is Why I’m Hot”.

Skatterman, Big Omeezy, Acer Vantes and Mr. Stinky the Vigilante also performed on stage, while FreezTV420 took videos and photos.

“The event was an intimate experience for the fans,” Williams continued. “There were about 78 people in the crowd, but that doesn’t include the vendors and their guests.” Williams blames low traffic on wireless emergency alerts for flood warnings in Flagstaff earlier and news reports showing running water from the floods – which was in another part of Flagstaff. “After seeing all the warnings, I thought, ‘Should I go or not?’ A few times.So glad I drove there.

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