Applause Radio Show (ARS) is known for its entertainment value while bringing our listeners the celebrity guests they want to know more about or just catch up with their careers. However, ARS has also always been known as an avenue of assisting in any aspect that we can. Whether we are helping someone promote a new movie, book, tour, etc., we’re willing.
But we are also a place for offering help.
In the beginning of ARS, we assisted in getting the word out on the Keegan Landfill issue. We will continue to help anyone we can and considering that, the topic on ARS recently is something everyone should know about. Whether if it is to help yourself or someone you may know.
On April 3, ARS had the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey Sitcov.
Sitcov is the President and Founder of Doors of Change (DOC). What is DOC? They are an organization to help homeless youth, and I had no idea how many homeless youths there are out there on the streets of the United States of America. It’s something I can hardly fathom but it is sadly true. You may not see it and I may not see it because we aren’t in locations where homelessness is rampant in our communities. And, because of the pandemic, homelessness has grown to outlandish proportions.
There are currently 3.5 million homeless youth on America’s streets.
Sitcov says he is doing everything he can to help these young folks get a better start in life. DOC has been around for over 20 years. Sitcov, an award-winning photographer couldn’t take what he was witnessing anymore and has now dedicated his life to helping these kids.
I’m sure we have come across homeless people in our lives but for me personally, I have never come across a homeless child/teen. Most come from extremely dysfunctional homes. Either they are being abused physically or sexually or these kids are being thrown away because of their sexual identity/orientation.
I’m not sure what happened to unconditional love for a child, but we’ve seen a lot of conditional things in our midst the last several years.
Thankfully, DOC has helped over 2,200 homeless kids by getting them off the streets, a safe home, clothing, food and an education. The biggest hurdle with helping them turn their lives around is having them trust someone and DOC has done just that.
DOC gains their trust and then opens them up to music and the arts. Music and the arts have played an integral role in keeping DOC alive. Music and art are healers for most. Everyone should have some sort of music or art in their lives.
It has proven to make us smarter, more outgoing, and also provides a sense of belonging. The music industry has played a pivotal role in keeping DOC alive as well. Many musicians have donated their time, money and have autographed musical instruments and television scripts to help raise funds to keep DOC functioning.
DOC is based in San Diego, so you may ask, “how does that help our homeless youth?” You may think that the pandemic put a damper on helping the less fortunate but it has actually helped. By becoming a virtual world, anyone across the country can now reach out to DOC for help via their website www.doorsofchange.org.
If someone is homeless in New Jersey, they may reach out to the site and DOC jumps into action and finds the available outlets here that can help. They do the legwork, the research and the rest is up to the individual themselves.
Most who reach out have changed their lives drastically. Sitcov shared many stories with ARS of the lives they have turned around. One in particular stood out for me, Justine, who was 12 when she found herself on the streets.
Her mother’s boyfriend would start out physically and verbally abusing her, but once he started to sexually abuse her, that was enough. This poor child had no other alternative than to live on the streets. She found DOC at 16, was on suicide watch and attempted to take her own life twice. She trusted no one.
Can you blame this poor kid? My God, it’s horrendous to even think about, never mind to actually live it.
DOC turned her on to a music class and she finally opened up to them and help flooded out to her. Justine wound up going to college, earned a bachelor’s degree with a 3.87 GPA. Currently she is working as an auditor while she is in her second year of law school. She is also an advocate for homeless youth and gives back to the kids struggling with life while getting help from DOC.
If you are a homeless youth between the ages of 17 and 25 years old or know of any homeless youth, please visit www.doorsofchange.org or share the DOC information with them. There is help out there with safe housing, food, clothing, etc.
If you would like to help keep the DOC open, you may also go to their site and make a donation to keep this beautiful program running. If you are into celebrity memorabilia, you can also go to their site and purchase the autographed musical instruments I mentioned earlier.
Also, if you’re a Three Dog Night fan and are on the West Coast in June, you may also purchase tickets to their concert to help DOC. All funds raised via donations, buying an autographed instrument or the concert tickets goes directly to the homeless youth of America who reach out to DOC.
If you would like to hear more amazing stories about what DOC has done and continues to do, please listen to our conversation from April 3 at www.applauseradioshow.com.
Thank you, Jeffery Sitcov, for doing what you do.
You are an amazing human being.
Learn more about the writer ...
JoAnn Barton | Special to The Observer
Jo-Ann Barton is a singer/songwriter and musician for the past 25+ years who contributes entertainment-related stories to The Observer. Her last CD, 'POP and CIRCUMSTANCES,' spawned a number one hit song at college radio stations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, in 2001. She is the host of the Applause Radio Show, a platform JoAnn brings to an ever-growing audience tuning into listen to their favorite celebrities.