Monthly Archives: May 2008


PRESS COVERAGE of the PROJECT H.O.M.E. and PHILADELPHIA SOUL Press Event annoucing $3.3 Million Initiative to Help Homeless Veterans In Philly

Bon Jovi’s most rewarding title, though, just may be philanthropist.

His primary mission has been the rehabilitation of dilapidated areas of North Philadelphia. Bon Jovi’s already helped revitalize blocks in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, and on Friday he reached out to homeless veterans.

Bon Jovi teamed with Project H.O.M.E, an advocacy group that empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness and reach their potential as members of society, to help vets in need or with their addictions.

”It’s a difference maker,” Bon Jovi said Friday.

Bon Jovi and the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation are part of a combination of funders that donated $3.3 million to support the veteran’s program and upgrade the facilities at St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence. The funds for the residence, which held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday and is expected to be completed in the fall, will aid a housing project that provides a structured environment for veterans.

Bon Jovi, whose parents were both marines, has a special attachment to the area. Bon Jovi helped renovate 15 row houses in one of Philadelphia’s most poverty-ridden neighborhoods and donates time and money to the area.

”The idea here was to use North Philly, 23rd street, as a model to bring back a neighborhood,” Bon Jovi said. ”Not every home on the block was renovated by the Soul Foundation, just the ones that needed our help.”

Sister Mary Scullion, who has helped the homeless for 30 years and is co-founder of the group Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia, has worked with Bon Jovi for nearly three years and said the singer is sincere in shining a worldwide spotlight on the plight of the homeless.

”He truly is a phenomenal rock star and it’s hard to comprehend he’s with us here in North Central Philadelphia celebrating these accomplishments,” Scullion said.

Scullion said the Soul Foundation has donated $2 million to the local community and continues to aid Project H.O.M.E (Housing, Opportunities for Employment, Medical Care, Education).

”The Soul Foundation’s romantic vision is that one street at a time, one neighborhood at a time, leads to one city at a time, to a state at a time, to a nation,” Bon Jovi said. ”I’m just building the model.”

Wearing a white button-down shirt, sport coat and jeans, Bon Jovi took a break from his band’s tour to show up in support of the project.

”I wouldn’t be showing up for many people in the world, but with Sister Mary, you’ll stand up here in attention,” Bon Jovi said.

Bon Jovi has been majority owner of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul since their inception in 2004.

”Under the guise of sports, came philanthropy,” Bon Jovi said.

Former 76ers coach Billy Cunningham sat in the front row and current Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks also stopped by for a tour of the nearby Honickman Learning Center, a residential community center where the program was held.

”It’s all about trying to make a difference,” said Cunningham, who led Philly to the NBA title in 1983. ”It’s about giving them a hope and a chance to believe that people care about them. That there is a chance to have a wonderful life.”

Cheeks said he planned to bring some Sixers to the learning center next season.

Bon Jovi wants to match Cheeks and have his team make the playoffs this season. The Soul are 9-1 and can clinch their third straight playoff appearance next week.

”How can we not win a championship with Sister Mary,” behind us, Bon Jovi said.

Jon Bon Jovi and PA State Representative John M. Perzel. Photo by Harvey Finkle

To view the news piece featured on ABC 6 ACTION NEWS on Friday, May 9th please CLICK HERE

The following is the feature article which ran in the May 10 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

By Jennifer Lin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Kevin Caroll, 50, left the Army in 1979 and became a “slave to heroin.”

His addiction, he said, took him to low places. He’s fished for meals from trash cans, slept on the streets, even curled up inside Dumpsters.

But yesterday, Carroll found himself shaking hands with rock star Jon Bon Jovi, one of the private and public donors who raised $3.3 million to help Project H.O.M.E. start a new program to help more homeless veterans like Carroll.

Carroll said he’s been clear for more than a ear, helped by a recovery program in North Philadelphia that Project H.O.M.E. runs for homeless, addicted men.

The program – the St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Resident – will use the money to renovate its aging building, set aside 12 units of housing for homeless veterans, and provide on-site services for them.
After listening to Carroll tell his story to a full audience of donors and supporters at Project H.O.M.E.’s Honickman Learning Center, Bon Jovi said the decision to contribute money to the effort was easy.

“I’m the product of two vets,” Bon Jovi said. “Both my mother and father were Marines.”
Bon Jovi, who is one of the owners of the Philadelphia Soul arena football team, said the investment in St. Elizabeth’s is “another amazing step in ending the cycle of homelessness.”

The Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation and Bon Jovi contributed a combined $250,000 to the St. Elizabeth’s project. Most of the remaining money for the project came from a combination of federal, state and city sources, said Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder of Project H.O.M.E., a non-profit agency that provides housing and services for homeless people.

Veterans make up a disproportionate share of the nation’s homeless population, studies have shown.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Peter Dougherty, Director of Homeless Veterans Programs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said about one in five homeless people in the United States are veterans.

Dougherty said the ranks of homeless veterans, however, are easing as federal and local agencies provide more services for them.

Dougherty cited a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to spend $75 million on permanent housing for homeless veterans. Of that, Philadelphia has a commitment to get funding for 140 units of permanent housing for homeless veterans, he said.

Dougherty said there were about 154,000 homeless veterans across the country – down from about 250,000 eight years ago.

In Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, he said, outreach teams estimated that there were about 550 homeless veterans.

He said veterans returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan should fare better than their peers who came back from Vietnam a generation earlier. He said there are more supports for them and a better understanding of their needs.

Dougherty estimated that nationally, about 2,000 veterans on the streets or in shelters have returned from the current conflicts.

Dougherty said returning soldiers are prone to homelessness because they are coming from stressful assignments and can feel alienated. He said the military makes veterans better equipped than others to live in harsh environments like the streets.”

“They fall harder than the rest of us,” he said.




Jon Bon Jovi Answers His Critics
May 15, 2008
(CBS) Critics just couldn’t see past the big hair he sported when his was one of the hit “hair bands” that broke out in the 1980s and they still can’t, says Jon Bon Jovi. That’s okay the rocker tells 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft. He gets his respect from family, fans and a phenomenal success that’s still going strong after 26 years.

Bon Jovi’s interview was broadcasted Sunday, May 18, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

“There are critic’s darlings. That I won’t be. I got that…We’ve had to suffer the hangover of…the ’80s decade,” says Bon Jovi. He feels he’s gotten enough respect, though. “Is longevity respect? Is coming home and having your family be proud of you respect? Is having those generations of people, heads of industry, or football coaches or Johnny Average spending their hard-earned money [on his recordings and concerts]…respect?” he asks Kroft.

Hair or no, Bon Jovi has seven albums that have gone platinum and enough hit singles to keep filling stadiums in major cities – no mean feat in today’s sluggish industry. And besides, says Bon Jovi, just one of his platinum albums, maybe just one song from it, “Living on a Prayer,” is enough to etch a special place for him and his band on rock’s pantheon. “One of the biggest albums of all time is called ‘Slippery When Wet.’ If ‘Living on a Prayer’ hasn’t crossed generations and had its influence on this culture and isn’t the biggest Karaoke song or stadium song it’s up there…” he says.

Bon Jovi tells Kroft he is still enthusiastic about performing. “You’d think why would I beat myself up like that after 25 years? Because you want to be the best. I don’t want to think that anyone’s coming in there and going to be better tomorrow night,” he says.

Late this summer, Bon Jovi will end a 15-month tour that will net the band approximately $250 million in ticket, T-shirt and CD sales. It’s all part of a charmed life he leads. “I haven’t had a bad year since the doctor slapped me on the ass,” he laughs.

Kroft’s profile of the rock star includes concert footage, a look inside Bon Jovi’s mansion in New Jersey and a tour of a Philadelphia street, whose old townhouses were restored as part of his charitable efforts to improve the neighborhood.

Produced by John Hamlin
© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

JON BON JOVI - Sneak Preview from 60 MINUTES Profile.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and public and private funders are pooling their resources to support the development of a veterans program that will be housed at Project H.O.M.E.’s St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence in North Philadelphia. The funds will support the program and facility renovations. Funders and supporters who made this happen include the Veterans Administration/VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and State Representative John M. Perzel, the PA Housing Finance Agency, the City of Philadelphia, and Jon Bon Jovi and the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation. Jon Bon Jovi is a philanthropist and dedicated supporter of other Project H.O.M.E. initiatives both personally and through the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation. As co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul arena football team, he has a special interest and has a history of investing in the North Philadelphia neighborhood where Project H.O.M.E.’s new Veterans Program will be located.

A groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, May 9th at 3 p.m. will officially start the construction on this project. The ceremony will recognize Jon Bon Jovi, as well as local, state and federal officials including State Rep Perzel (confirmed), Mayor Michael Nutter (invited but not confirmed), Peter Dougherty, Director Homeless Veterans Programs, Dept of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. and John G. Bravacos, Regional Director, United Stats Housing and Urban Development Region III Office.

The new Veterans Program was created by Project H.O.M.E. in a unique collaboration with the VA and the Philadelphia Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Project H.O.M.E. is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations that provides services to help individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. The program was developed because of the increasing number of homeless veterans who need help treating their addictions and to help them break their cycle of homelessness. Over the last year, 14 percent of Project H.O.M.E. residents at multiple sites have been identified as veterans.

Pennsylvania is home to the fifth largest veteran population in the U.S. More than 1.15 million veterans represent 9.4 percent of the total state populations (source: PA Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs, Bureau of Veterans Affairs.) The VA says the nation’s homeless veterans are mostly males and the vast majority are single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities; 45 percent suffer from mental illness and have substance abuse problems. The VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night; 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year.

Project H.O.M.E.’s current facility for homeless men with addictions, St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence, will go through a major renovation and expansion in order to establish twelve units of transitional housing on the fourth floor designed and designated exclusively for homeless veterans. In addition, the renovation will add an elevator and four fully handicapped accessible rooms and associated bathrooms to introduce residents with physical disabilities to the program and assure that they have full access to the whole building. Since Project H.O.M.E. values green building standards, this renovation will also include many processes and products that meet green standards.

Over the years, Project H.O.M.E. has served thousands of these veterans through its existing housing and service programs; last year alone, Project H.O.M.E.’s outreach teams connected with more than 500 homeless veterans. More than 45 percent of those homeless veterans were dealing with both substance abuse and mental health disorders, with many suffering from undiagnosed and untreated PTSD.

“Many of the homeless veterans we engage are often unable or unwilling to enter the existing city shelter system or seem to fall through the cracks as they attempt to find help, so we recognize the need to create a treatment program especially for veterans,” said Project H.O.M.E. co-director Sister Mary Scullion. “In partnership with the VA Medical Center, we developed a program that will offer the intensive treatment, services, and supportive environment they need to help them improve their quality of life and get back on their feet.”

The goal of the residence is to help veterans find their way to permanent homes and productive work; medical care, job training, employment and housing assistance all will be available either on site or close by. Services available at the residence will include support groups designed for recovering veterans and others; connections for mental health and substance abuse treatment; and case management services to help residents construct a strong support network for themselves.

A health clinic next door to the center, developed in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, will be staffed by doctors and nurses who specialize in the treatment of chronic diseases associated with post- traumatic disorders and homelessness.

The location of this new program for veterans is ideal because the “Project H.O.M.E” community in this particular section of North Philadelphia has become a true resource center since there are so many services in a three- block area. One block away from St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence is a state-of-the-art technology center, the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs, offers a wide range of adult learning and technology training programs, including literacy classes, computer training, and industry-specific career training. Residents will also have access to jobs in Project H.O.M.E.’s own network of community businesses and residences. Residents who complete the Veterans Program will receive help in obtaining permanent housing through Project H.O.M.E.’s many partnerships and housing resources.



Kevin Bacon, critically-acclaimed and beloved actor has long been the focus of the parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon where players connect any one actor to Kevin Bacon by linking them through film and TV roles. Finally acknowledging the pop culture phenomenon, Bacon embraced the amusing game and the larger Six Degrees of Separation theory to create a social networking community that would be used to make a difference. was created in 2006 by Kevin Bacon, in partnership with Network For Good ( Through the website, you can support your favorite charities (by either donating funds or creating fundraising badges) as well as learning about the charitable causes supported by others on the social networking site, including celebrities. One of the celebrities listed at is Jon Bon Jovi and, naturally, his charity is the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation. This is the “badge” for Jon Bon Jovi: By visiting this site and clicking on the Jon Bon Jovi badge, visitors to learn about the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation and are given the opportunity to donate directly to the cause. Social networking with a social conscience. Every little bit helps. Please visit and click on the Celebrity Badges until you find Jon Bon Jovi’s. You can then copy the badge to your website or blog, or link to that badge… and you can help spread the word about Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation.

For more information about Six Degrees and to create a badge CLICK HERE.



Bon Jovi and Leann Rimes
The biggest winner at this year’s CMT Music Awards was CHARITY. CMT ONE COUNTRY, CMT’s pro-social initiative announced that they would be gifting $5000 to the charity of choice to each of the winners in each of the thirteen categories being presented at the CMT Music Awards.

BON JOVI and LEANN RIMES were nominated in the COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR category for the song TILL WE AIN’T STRANGERS ANYMORE. The steamy video was directed by Phil Griffon and filmed in New York City’s Flatiron district. The clip featured Jon Bon Jovi and Ms. Rimes singing from a glass bed in the middle of an empty nighttime 23rd Street.

Leann Rimes

BON JOVI and LEANN RIMES won the award for COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR and Ms. Rimes accepted the CMT Belt Buckle on behalf of herself and BON JOVI (the band was on their Lost Highway tour and were performing in Dallas, Texas that night.)

The $5000 charitable stipend donated by CMT ONE COUNTRY was split equally between the charity designated by Ms. Rimes (Nashville Humane Association) and the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation, the charity of choice for Jon Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi.

CMT ONE COUNTRY was launched in the Fall of 2005 to promote civic participation and inspire CMT viewers to take action and bring about positive change in their communities. Advisory board members include President Jimmy Carter, Maya Angelou and General Colin Powell – their combined service to the country and leadership in philanthropic and community efforts inspires and helps CMT ONE COUNTRY allow anyone interested in making a difference to obtain the tools to do so. For more information, please visit www.CMTONECOUNTRY.COM

Congratulations to the members of Bon Jovi and to LeAnn Rimes on their CMT Music Awards win and many thanks to CMT and the CMT ONE COUNTRY initiative for the donation made to the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation in honor of Bon Jovi’s win.