Unfortunately, the Minot Area Homeless Coalition will always have work to do, especially with the dearth of affordable housing currently found in Minot. That makes events like BeardStock 2011 all the more important to give the venerable homeless organization the funds it needs to keep doing its good works.
BeardStock 2011, a charity concert with all proceeds going to the homeless coalition, will be held at the Grand International, 1505 N. Broadway, on March 27 from 4 to 10 p.m. The entry fee is $8, or $5 along with the donation of non-perishable goods.
Dan Hansen founded BeardStock three years ago with the help of Stefanie Engstrom, a friend who suggested doing some type of benefit for the homeless coalition. They have been able to raise a total of over $1,000 the past two years, with $700 raised in 2010 and $400 in 2009.
Dan Feldner/MDN - - Dan Hansen, one of the founders of BeardStock, stands next to a poster for the upcoming charity event in the Minot State University student union March 9. To be held Sunday at the Grand International, BeardStock 2011 will raise money for the Minot Area Homeless Coalition.
Hansen said BeardStock's partnership with the homeless coalition has been a good experience from the very beginning and he truly enjoys working with them year after year. He noted that although it is known as the Minot Area Homeless Coalition, it helps far more people than some might realize.
"The homeless coalition's more than just a place that helps people (who) are homeless. ... They do everything from help people out with giving them non-perishable goods to clothes to furniture to hygiene products," Hansen said. "Let's say you can afford to pay rent but you can't afford to buy food. They'll help you out with that. I guess we just want people to know that the Homeless Coalition's more than just helping people (who) don't have a house."
It wouldn't be BeardStock without the best beard contest, and Hansen said they're expanding it this year to include not only real beards, but a separate category for fake beards as well. He said the fake beards can be made out of just about anything, and will be judged on creativity and innovation.
Hansen said he will have the usual assortment of diverse music this year. There will be acoustic, rock, alternative and even some country-like music. New acts in 2011 include The Cascade Sun, a local alternative band, and The Valiant Nomads, a rock band from Grand Forks.
While the True Soul Brothaz, a spoken word poetry duo from Minot, has appeared at BeardStock before, this will be their first time emceeing the event.
"They're really fun guys," Hansen said.
Other acts appearing at BeardStock include Merick, The Gregorian Punks, Jazmine Wolff, The Morning Red, Carly Ann, Mike Power and Consolation Prize.
Along with hours of live music, there will also be free food and beverages as long as supplies last. A cash bar will also be available to those who are 21 or older and have a valid ID.
Hansen said there will be something for people of all ages to look forward to, and noted in past years the age of attendees has ranged from early teens all the way up to folks well into their 60s.
Hansen believes many people don't think homelessness is a big deal in Minot, but he said it's becoming more of a problem all the time. Housing has become increasingly difficult to come by, and its costs are taking a bigger chunk out of everyone's budget. Hansen wants to get the word out that the homeless coalition is needed now more than ever, and he's proud of the fact that for three years running, he's been doing just that.
"I've always wanted to do something for the homeless coalition," he said. "I guess it's always something I've wanted to do growing up, and to have the chance to be able to do it is awesome."