Pearl Jam’s anti-homeless initiative Home Shows managed to raise a whopping $10.8 million to take people off the streets. The amount will be distributed to 100 organizations to help them out in their fight against homelessness.
Pearl Jam guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard shared that the idea is to invest in effective approaches that won’t be dismissed by the bureaucratic red tape.
“Everyone we’ve communicated with and worked with has been dying for support, dying for coalescence around the issue and some attention being paid to it,”Gossard said. "We get a lot of attention, so here’s an opportunity for us to utilize some of that attention for something that’s ripe and ready for a shift.”
The band members want to make a difference in their city by bringing the community and organizations together to help the homeless take back control of their life.
The Home Shows raised $10.8 million thanks to donations and contributions that organizations planned to release in the future but agreed to release earlier than intended. Additionally, the band itself donated $868,189 raised from ticket sales from their two concerts. Local restaurants, merch sales, and other sources raised an additional $597,300. Most of the donors stated where they want their money to go.
To use the remaining balance of $1.3 million in the best possible way, Pearl Jam asked the 19-member informal advisory board which counts Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation and Seattle Foundation as their members where to donate the money. Among the organizations involved in the distribution of the remaining funds were the Chief Seattle Club, Accelerator YMCA, and the Mockingbird Society. These organizations along with many others will receive Home Shows money to help those in need.
One of the biggest projects of the Home Shows initiative is the one-time financial help for the homeless with a goal to end prolonged homelessness. The same approach has shown great results in Pierce County. Previous experience with combating homelessness indicates that African Americans were more keen to accept diversion than others. The band sees this as an opportunity to help more homeless people of color. Home Shows will use $2 million of the raised funds on diversion, $750 000 will go to King County service providers for one-time financial help for the homeless, so they can use the money for things like apartment deposits or to repair broken vehicles. The band intends to use $600 000 to end youth homelessness.
Pearl Jam hopes that the initial fund of $10.8 million is just the beginning of Home Shows’ fight against homelessness. They hope that their initiative will continue to grow and significantly reduce homelessness.“We’re Seattleites. We’re going to be here, our business is going to be here, and we’re going to remain in this conversation,”Gossard stated.