Christian music artist aims to raise funds for SoCal homelessness for second year

A seed planted years ago has flourished into a father-son mission to end homelessness. San Fernando Valley-native Evan Craft watched his father Ken Craft launch a rescue mission 10 years ago.

"I loved it so much," said Evan. "A lot of the guests speak Spanish and so I didn't want to have a translator, so I was very intentional in learning Spanish and didn't know that would end up kind of opening up a career for me."

Evan mastered Spanish and launched an unlikely and wildly successful career as a singer and songwriter performing Christian worship music.

Ken admits he was skeptical of Evan's plans at first, saying he did not have framework for seeing his son's career take off.

"And then next thing I know he's sending me pictures of him performing in front of crowds of 10,000, 15,000 people in Central and South America," Ken said.

With a growing homelessness crisis back at home, Evan decided to launch "Mi Casa L.A." It's a benefit concert to raise money for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

Craft enlisted the help of his friends, other big names in the Spanish-language Christian music scene. Leaders at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch offered their massive facility for free.

"One of the phrases that's most famous in English from Latin America is 'mi casa es tu casa,' which is all about hospitality," said the 28-year-old. "It really seems logical to me that the Hispanic community can be a driving force in ending homelessness."

Last year the concert generated more than $80,000.

"I was blown away and we were able to use those funds in part to help open three new homeless shelters last year," said Ken, founder of Hope of the Valley.

Among other resources they offer, there's a men's alcohol and drug recovery program, two family shelters, a shelter for 18-24-year-olds, and a recuperative facility for people released from hospitals.

This Sunday, they hope to surpass last year's mark and raise $100,000.

"Love your neighbor as yourself and that has been the heart of everything that we're doing," Evan said. "We would like to have anyone who speaks English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Swahili, any language. Everyone is welcome and that is the meaning of 'mi casa es tu casa.'"
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