The US government does not help with rental deposits for homeless vets, a major obstacle toward security and opportunity.

Getty Images

Thanks to This Pop Star, 22 Homeless Veterans Now Have Access to Affordable Housing

The "Part of Me" singer teams up with Veterans Matter to provide crucial rental deposits to those without homes.

Who cares what color Katy Perry’s hair currently is. She’s proven her heart is true blue by auctioning off a concert experience to help homeless veterans get off the streets.

The pop star teamed up with Veterans Matter, a nonprofit started by Ken Leslie in 2012 when he learned that HUD-VASH (a combined initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) doesn’t provide a deposit to homeless vets receiving rental vouchers.

The lack of a down payment is a huge obstacle for struggling, jobless veterans looking to take advantage of the program.

Perry auctioned off a ticket package — complete with VIP perks and a chance to meet the singer — to a stop on her Prismatic tour for $4,000 to Scott Vaughn of Oakton, Va. The money will make a big impact: providing housing deposits to 17 homeless veterans in Austin, Texas, and 5 in Detroit.

Vaughn attended Perry’s recent Cleveland show, where she told him, “Thank you so much for helping Veterans Matter, it is so important that we help those who fought for our freedom,” according to Digital Journal‘s Earl Dittman.

Leslie is quite skilled at interesting celebrities in Veterans Matter, with such musicians as Kid Rock, John Mellencamp, Ice-T and Stevie Nicks contributing to the cause. “These homeless veterans have guaranteed long-term housing and the keys are jingling in their hands,” Leslie tells Dittman. “All they need is the deposit to get them over the threshold. Katy and the others are helping us provide that final piece that pushes them over that threshold.”

MORE: What Do Kid Rock, John Mellencamp, and Mitch Albom Have in Common?

 

Source: Digital Journal

Jenny Shank is a fiction writer and journalist in Boulder, Colo. Her first novel, “The Ringer,” won the High Plains Book Award. Her stories, essays, satire and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney's and The Guardian.