As a result of alcohol and drug addiction KEM was homeless on the streets of Detroit. After multiple stints in area treatment centers, shelters, hospitals, and even jail, KEM made the decision to get his life on track on July 23, 1990.
Through faith in God, hard work, and support from family and friends, KEM has been in recovery for twenty four years. He is now a Grammy nominated recording artist that has sold millions of albums and has performed in front of audiences around the globe. KEM has used his talents and remarkable journey as a catalyst to inspire others facing similar struggles.
In 2009, KEM Live @ Mack and Third was created as a benefit concert to:
- Increase funding for agencies providing services for the Detroit-area homeless population
- Collect canned goods and other non-perishables for homeless shelters and food banks in the economically depressed metro-Detroit area
- Provide medical services to the homeless and other underserved members of the community
- Raise awareness of the plight affecting the homeless population in metro-Detroit
Over 20,000 people attended the free concert, 500 meals were served to the homeless, and over 40,000 canned foods and non-perishable items were collected for Detroit-area organizations and shelters.
In 2011, the second KEM Live @ Mack & Third was held with the same goals and objectives. The event resulted in 100,000 canned goods collected, over 2,100 meals served to the homeless, and over 50,000 people in attendance at the free concert.
The immense success of previous events prompted KEM to create a nonprofit organization that would serve as a much larger fundraising vehicle that offers year round support for programs that service the homeless population, those recovering from substance abuse, and victims of domestic violence. This will be accomplished through corporate sponsorships, large donor support, and fundraising efforts that engage the community. This vision is especially pertinent during today’s difficult financial times when funding has been cut for many essential programs and services.
Mack and Third, Inc., a nonprofit organization, was created from this vision in 2012. The goal is to improve the quality of lives in Detroit and any place where individuals and organizations are in need.
The goals of the Mack and Third organization are:
- Raise funds, resources, and awareness through annual fundraisers, food drives, volunteer projects, public donations, and sponsorships
- Partner with organizations that have proven to be most effective at using their resources to make the most impact in their communities
- Teach, encourage, and promote a philanthropic spirit of giving locally, nationally, and globally
After formation of the Mack & Third non-profit entity, the third concert was held on August 26, 2012 at Cass Park to support the local populace and provide much-needed medical and food assistance.
Once again, it was an enormous success. With major sponsors like the DTE Foundation, Meijer, Lowe’s and Bank of America, an estimated 55,000 people attended, 130,000 canned goods were collected for area homeless shelters, 2500 gift bags containing toiletries and personal items were distributed and 1500 meals were served.
In addition, through the generosity of Detroit’s hospital and health communities, innumerable health screenings for asthma, HIV, blood pressure, dental issues, diabetes, and oral head-and-neck cancer were conducted.
Local media embraced the event, with promotional appearances around town, coverage on radio and television, in newspapers and magazines.
The blessings continue to flow.