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Rock star, Bon Jovi is doing his part in the Francisville neighborhood of Philadelphia. Bon Jovi helped cut the ribbon on a 55-unit housing development for formerly homeless and low-income residents, as reported by Associated Press (AP).
The housing development is called JBJ Soul Homes. It took almost 18 months for the completion of the construction of the four-story building which will also include retail and office space.
Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation provided the bulk of the money for the $16.6 million project, with other funding from public and private sources. The rock star hopes that the new housing development will offer residents the support they need to get back on their feet.
“This is not a handout, it’s just a hand up,” Bon Jovi told the Associated Press before the official ceremony, “This opportunity for them is special and it’s not easy to come by.”
Project HOME, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness in Philadelphia, has partnered with JBJ Soul Homes to provide social services to residents. Residents of JBJ Soul Homes will be required to contribute a portion of their income toward rent but will have access to basic medical care, employment training and educational classes. Several of the units will be used to help young adults transition out of programs for homeless teens.
“I’m getting myself back together, and this is a big, big step,” new resident Anthony Gulley, 53, told AP. “When they give you the help, you have to be willing to do what they ask you to do. It’s beautiful.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held April 22, 2014. The grand opening of the facility which coincides with the agency’s 25th anniversary is part of an initiative to build 500 such units across the city. Two developments totaling nearly 200 units are scheduled for groundbreaking over the coming year.
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