On one freezing night, Meir Kay, film producer, entertainer and social media influencer, saw a homeless man on the street in New York City holding a cardboard sign that read “I don’t want food. I don’t want a drink – I just want someone to talk with.” The incident inspired Kay to launch Super Soul Parties.
What started as one party in New York in 2017, has now become an annual Super Bowl party for people experiencing homelessness in every state.
This year, Super Soul Party has partnered with Milwaukee-area homeless shelters, food outlets, barbers and community activists to create a safe space for people experiencing homelessness to come to connect, laugh, eat and enjoy a meaningful Super Bowl Sunday. Milwaukee’s Super Soul Party will be held Sunday, Feb. 13 from 5-9 p.m. at Repairers of the Breach (1335 W. Vliet St.), a homeless shelter and resource center.
The party will feature food, haircuts, clothing drives and dignity bags with personal hygiene items. Resources for those struggling with mental health issues, as well as social, housing and addiction services will also be available.
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“It’s just a way for people in the community to get together and make a difference in other people’s lives,” says Ester Riva Milchtein, a correspondent for Milwaukee’s Super Soul Party and head of PR for the whole event.
Crucially, the parties will provide the opportunity to build genuine connection for those with homes and for those without.
“It’s important for the people who are experiencing homelessness because they’re seen and they have contact with others that they might otherwise not have,” Milchtein says. “And it’s extremely important for people in the community to actually see that these are people and they can see what they have in common and be nice to each other.”
Kay hopes these parties will educate the public about homelessness and inspire positive change.
“It’s not about football. This is about seeing the overlooked and engaging with the ignored,” Kay says. “These are not mere Super Bowl parties that you are familiar with. This is about lifting the soul with camaraderie and dignity.”