Ian Smith (Alternate)

Ian Smith

Vocalist

Ian has always been surrounded by music through his church, and learned to sing and play piano by ear within its walls. “Music is therapy to me. I do it because I love expressing myself,” he says. He especially likes healing, uplifting songs. “God makes me feel so joyful inside. I want to break stereotypes about how I should act as a black man with my positive music.”

Before moving in to his CHP residence last year, Ian was in the foster care system from age 7 to 21. Ian was sleeping on various family members’ couches, bouncing between group homes and shelters, before and after aging out of foster care. He felt a deep sense of relief when he received his apartment key. “I rejoiced! And I slept – a lot. It was the first time in a long time I could sleep peacefully.”

Ian has developed emotionally a lot since moving in.  He credits his faith in God in how he stays hopeful, and is grateful to CHP Support Services, because, “they came through for me when I didn’t know which way to go. They took their time to try to understand me.” Ian admits he spends a lot of time dreaming about his future; a luxury he didn’t have before. “The theme of this event is perfect for me because it’s an opportunity to express what I think about all the time.”