HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - This week, a dozen local comedians will put a different spin on homelessness to raise money for Rose of Sharon Soup Kitchen.
The comedy show will include a man known as the "Most Popular Homeless Comedian in Huntsville."
Over the summer, he was a client at Rose of Sharon.
Those visiting the soup kitchen might admit it's hard to laugh when you hear the struggles of people who come there for help.
"On average, we serve 1,500 meals a month," said Sharon Walker, the Founder of Rose of Sharon Soup Kitchen.
Joel Elliot, 35, moved from Pennsylvania to follow a spouse who took a job in Huntsville. He said when their relationship turned ugly, he ended up on the streets and came to Rose of Sharon for help over the summer.
Wednesday night, Elliott will use his experience in a comedy show fundraiser.
"I'll be closing out the first half of the show," said Elliott.
While he got help from Rose of Sharon for hot meals and warm clothing, he used his misfortune to create opportunity and friends on the comedy circuit.
"I had been billed as the number one homeless comedian in Huntsville for a while because it was what it was," he said.
Tammara Buckey, a fellow comedian, took notice.
"We pitched in and helped him kinda get it together and got him off the street," she said.
She organized the Half-Baked Comedy Show and Bake Sale at Straight to Ale Brewery.
It's to lighten the mood about a hard reality, let people laugh and share their money and resources.
"We embrace [homelessness]," said Buckey. "We're here to do good."
The proceeds will go to Rose of Sharon. And Elliott will take the stage with a new title.
"He's going to be known as the former Huntsville Homeless Comedian," said Buckey.
"It's definitely nice to transition out of that niche and just be a comedian and give back to the community," said Elliott.
The show is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Straight to Ale Brewery, located at 3800 Leeman Ferry Road. It is adult humor, rated "R".
Admission is a donation of money or supplies to Rose of Sharon.
Organizers are collecting donations at the following sites through December 17:
· Straight to Ale Brewery 3200 Leeman Ferry Rd Huntsville AL 35801
· 2B Design Studio LLC (Studio 2043) at Lowe Mill, 2211 Seminole Dr SW Huntsville AL 35805
· Firehouse Antiques, 10095 Memorial Pkwy SW Huntsville AL 35803
· Dave’s Auto Repair, 2080 Washington St Huntsville AL 35811
WINTER GEAR: Coats, scarves, gloves, hats, sweaters, socks, men's jeans, long johns
SLEEP GEAR: Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, tents
OTHER ITEMS: Hand sanitizer, deodorant, baby wipes, flashlights, batteries, backpacks
FOOD: Prepackaged food items, canned goods, drinks
BAKED GOODS: Day of event only for the bake sale.
Comedy Lineup: (Hosted by Tammara Buckey)
Nic Perez , Jesse Pollard, Brian Beaty, Sharon Singletary, David Wencil, Joel Elliott, Thaddeus Blake, Brent Pettie, Terra Jeffrey, Tim Kelly, Tonya Silver (aka T-Sil)
The founder of Rose of Sharon said the ultimate goal for the ministry is to move into a bigger building with more space to offer educational programs and cars to clients.
Right now, the soup kitchen has just four parking spaces at its spot, 2412 Memorial Parkway NW. Walker said they would like to have a larger parking lot to have vehicles that could be leased out or loaned to the homeless for dependable transportation. She explained that many homeless people are passed over for job opportunities because they don't have a vehicle and the city bus system won't suffice as 'dependable transportation.'