In the summer of 2016, San Diego’s homeless population was exploding. The removal of 10,000 affordable housing units, to make way for upscale condos and housing left the city’s most vulnerable citizens unsheltered.
Musician and jazz vocalist, Steph Johnson, noticed the suffering of her unsheltered neighbors and began to organize outreach that brought food, clothing, blankets and friendship to people experiencing homelessness. Inspiration came from doing outreach and discovering that many people living on the streets were artists and musicians with no outlet.
It was during this time that she met Pastor Chris Nafis who offered his humble church as a meeting place for outreach and community building. Located in the “low bottoms” area of East Village in Downtown, the church was a worn-down metal warehouse that sat in the center of the homelessness crisis. While doing outreach one day, Steph met a woman living on the street who was a singer in a choir for unsheltered people in Chicago. Understanding the power of music and group singing, Steph had the idea to join together and have choral music making available to the people experiencing homelessness in the area.
Serendipitously, Steph had just met a choir director, Nina Deering. Nina eagerly jumped at the opportunity to serve as the choir director. Her dedication and virtuoso musical talent brought an energy that inspired our choir members to learn how to sing together. We are incredibly thankful to have had her influence in our lives. 
Voices of Our City Choir's audition in Episode 1501 consisted of singing an original song called "Sounds of the Sidewalk". Impressed by their performance, Terry Crews pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending them straight to the Quarterfinals.
Voices of Our City Choir's Quarterfinals performance in Episode 1511 consisted of singing Ben E. King's "Stand By Me", which included a spoken word part. While four members performed in-person, the rest of the choir was pre-recorded and projected on a screen behind them. Howie Mandel gave them a standing ovation. The group received enough votes to advance to the Semifinals in Episode 1512 instead of BONAVEGA and Kameron Ross.
Voices of Our City Choir's Semifinals performance in Episode 1519 consisted of singing David Bowie's "Heroes". Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara all gave them standing ovations. The group did not receive enough votes to advance to the Finals in Episode 1520, eliminating them from the competition along with W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew instead of Daneliya Tuleshova.
- Voices of Our City Choir is Terry Crews' first Golden Buzzer not to make the Finals. It is also the second Golden Buzzer from the host to not make the Finals, the first being Dorothy Williams from Season 11.