Church reaches out to lost souls on Skid Row with karaoke



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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Every Wednesday, a church on Skid Row in Los Angeles hosts a "Karaoke Night."

A couple of hundred battered souls typically gather for a night of amateur song and dance at the Central City Community Church of the Nazarene.

For Pastor Tony Stallworth, Wednesday's Karaoke Night was a natural for a minister who loves to sing and was once a homeless drug addict. Stallworth says these are the kind of people Jesus "hung out with in the Bible."

For his guests, the music locks out the ugliness outside, where a misdirected look can launch a knife fight, where the streets reek of urine, and where some 1,700 people lay their heads on dirty sidewalks every night to sleep.

Some of the singers, of course, are awful: They croak off key, lose the beat, stumble over the lyrics. But others leave the audience shaking its collective head, wondering why they're not in a recording studio.

%@AP Links

300-a-14-(Mickey Gagnon, who lives in a homess shelter, in AP interview)-"you are non-judged"-Mickey Gagnon, who lives in a homeless shelter, says she loves Karaoke Night at the church. (13 May 2015)

<<CUT *300 (05/13/15)££ 00:14 "you are non-judged"

301-r-14-(Sound of homeless Skid Row residents, singing at church's Karaoke Night)--Sound of homeless Skid Row residents singing at a church's Karaoke Night. (13 May 2015)

<<CUT *301 (05/13/15)££ 00:14

298-a-08-(Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene, in AP interview)-"to come out"-Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene says he used to be a homeless drug addict. (13 May 2015)

<<CUT *298 (05/13/15)££ 00:08 "to come out"

297-a-11-(Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene, in AP interview)-"out of trouble"-Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene says Karaoke Night is a hit on Skid Row. (13 May 2015)

<<CUT *297 (05/13/15)££ 00:11 "out of trouble"

296-w-32-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene)--Every Wednesday, a church on Skid Row in Los Angeles hosts a "Karaoke Night." AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. ((opens with sound)) (13 May 2015)

<<CUT *296 (05/13/15)££ 00:32

299-a-06-(Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene, in AP interview)-"in that shape"-Pastor Tony Stallworth of Central City Community Church of the Nazarene says he can relate to the folks on Skid Row. (13 May 2015)

<<CUT *299 (05/13/15)££ 00:06 "in that shape"

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The Associated Press

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