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United Way of Lancaster County


‘Just Let Me Lay Down’: Dave Costarella records song depicting plight of homelessness (video)

Dave Costarella, left, celebrates with volunteers after a cleanup at Culliton Park in March 2024. (Source: Dave Costarella)

Dave Costarella has decided to put his musical talent in service to his efforts to help the homeless.

For the past eight years, Costarella, a local roofer, has served as a one-man street outreach team, distributing socks, backpacks, sleeping bags and other necessities to unsheltered people in Lancaster, using his own money and donations.

Last year he launched “Hand Up Partners,” paying homeless individuals a $20 stipend to clean up several local parks.

Costarella is also a veteran musician, fronting the popular local band DC & Co. This week, he released a music video for a new song he has written, “Just Let Me Lay Down.”

Just Let Me Lay Down: Credits

  • Written by Dave Costarella
  • Lead Vocals – Dave Costarella
  • Wurlitzer and Hammond Organ – Beatrix Greiner
  • Guitar – Bobby Gentilo
  • Drums – Ed Toth
  • Bass – Mike Bitts
  • Supporting Vocals – Beatrix Greiner, Mike Lyons, Rose Hudson, Don Hodgen, Ceasar Westbrook
  • Recorded at Right Coast Studios in Columbia, Pa
  • Engineered by Bobby Gentilo
  • Produced by Bobby Gentilo & Dave Costarella

It features scenes recorded by videographer Luis Raul, who accompanied Costarella on his rounds this past winter.

The goal is to change how the community perceives and treats homeless people, Costarella said, by showing both the “real ugliness” of sleeping outdoors but also the beauty that comes from inviting marginalized people to be contributing members of the community.

When you do that, it’s transformational, he said.

The video coincides with the launch of a GoFundMe campaign for Hand Up Partners. All contributions go directly into the program, with no overhead costs, Costarella said.

“Homelessness is a global problem and inclusiveness is a global solution,” he said. “I hope people in other cities see Hand Up Partners and chose to incorporate similar programs in their area.”