(WPRI) - The death of a Providence homeless man may have gone unnoticed to most but a group of 5 musicians refuses to let him go without a lasting tribute.
"He was a good guy," local drummer Bob Graham said, asking that we withhold the name of the man who left behind a daughter and other grieving family members.
Graham's friend had a $70,000 dollar a year job until the recession left him on the unemployment line in 2007. Months later, he lost his home to foreclosure.
"Then he had a brain aneurysm," Graham said, fighting back tears. "It (homelessness) really can happen to anyone. This is how."
Graham explained that his friend ended up eating out of dumpsters and might have been too proud to ask for help.
"It was just a snow ball effect. He was trying to get himself on his feet but he died alone."
Graham turned his grief into words, creating a hard rock song to conjure up images you might see on street corners across the area.
"Alone in the rain, feeling ashamed," Graham said as he read a few lines of the end result, Now Or Never . "Mother holds her child, she begins to pray."
Graham mixed his words and music with three of his musical friends and nationally known rocker Jamie Fletcher agreed to sing the lead. Add it up, and it's 5 Guys Who Care singing Now or Never in 7 countries so far.
A rejected letter asking for help from President Barack Obama brought clarity to how Graham hopes to fight homelessness.
"You cannot rely on the government. We need to stand together as citizens and as Americans." Graham said. "You're never going to stop hunger and homelessness but we can do everything we can to stop it from growing."
So far, 5 Guys Who Care have sold about 300 copies of Now Or Never but thanks to other gigs, Graham has donated about $5000 dollars to a variety of shelters and organizations, emphasizing that he is not done rocking yet.
"You don't have to have a Mercedes. You don't have to have a 10 room house. But you got to at least be able to have a roof over your head and something to eat in your stomach."
"5 Guys Who Care" joined The Rhode Show to talk about the band and give a performance.
So, with the help of friends and family he has set out to make a difference.
The band practices in an old mill in Pawtucket each day. Bob also brought in nationally known rocker Jamie Fletcher to sing lead on the song.
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