Voices of Our City Choir performed today at the grand opening of Timmy’s Place: a pizzeria and print shop named for Rolf and Mary Benirschke’s son who overcame homelessness. The shop employs youth, ages 18-24, experiencing homelessness. It is operated by the Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC), in partnership Urban Street Angels, and supported by the Rolf Benirschke Legacy Foundation and the Lucky Duck Foundation.
Twenty of Voices’ Choir Members performed “Being You”, an original song written by the Choir, and Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”. San Diego Padres’ mascot, The Swinging Friar, rallied the crowd to clap along through the finale.
“We are so honored that our Choir was invited to perform in today’s celebration to open Timmy’s Café. It is inspiring to share a space with the Padres Foundation, UPAC, Urban Street Angels, and our partners The Lucky Ducky Foundation and The Legacy Foundation. Today’s robust turnout reminds us that our City’s residents share a commitment to creative, dignified opportunities people of all ages impacted by homelessness,” said Lindsey Seegers, Deputy Executive Director of Voices of Our City Choir.
Last year, the National Conflict Resolution Center Peacemakers Award honored Voices of Our City Choir alongside philanthropists Rolf and Mary Benirschke, a San Diego couple who have dedicated their lives to serving others, drawing strength from personal challenges. The NCRC award introduced the Benirschkes and Voices of Our City Choir, now friends and partners in a shared cause. Rolf and Mary’s daughter, a talented soprano, is also a proud Choir Member of Voices.
The Benirschke’s son, Timmy, found a caring community outside San Diego in his journey towards sobriety and stability. Voices’ caring community here in San Diego resonated with the Benirschkes, as the nonprofit offers a place for healing and self-expression on the journey out of homelessness.
“Today reminded us of the Choir's earliest days: community gathering around food and friendship. We look forward to a partnership that brings unhoused artists—be they culinary, music, or printmakers—together at Timmy’s Place,” said Seegers.
Timmy’s Place is a new social enterprise with the mission to train and employ homeless youth and provide critical life skills and work experience to help the youth be self-sufficient and never return to the streets. They aim to employ more than 50 youth per year, as well as connect them to long-tern employment through the San Diego Restaurant Association.