Official PRESS RELEASE – OCT 5, 2006 SOUL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION LAUNCH
Jon Bon Jovi Has United Habitat For Humanity, Project HOME in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation, and Saturn – Together They Will Renovate 15 Decaying Homes In One of Philly’s Most In-Need Neighborhoods
Habitat For Humanity Announces That Jon Bon Jovi Will Become Their First Ever Habitat Ambassador
(Philadelphia, PA – October 5, 2006) – Standing in front of a block of vacant homes in North Philadelphia, Jon Bon Jovi today announced Project HOME’s Phase V Homeownership Project – a unique partnership that he has brokered between Project HOME, Habitat For Humanity, the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation, and Saturn that will undertake the renovation of 15 row houses in one of Philadelphia’s most poverty-ridden neighborhoods.
President Bill Clinton attended, commending Jon Bon Jovi’s continued philanthropic efforts, the work of both Project HOME and Habitat For Humanity in the communities they serve, and companies such as Saturn who make community outreach a priority.
The Phase V Homeownership Project focuses on two blocks of historically significant, deteriorated row houses in North Central Philadelphia – the 1800 and 1900 blocks of North 23rd St. By employing “green building strategies,” Phase V will renovate existing structures into energy efficient homes containing Energy Star-rated appliances. In addition, reducing block density and developing side yards in the area are all significant steps in promoting long-term health, safety, and affordability for owners.
“We are thrilled to partner with Jon Bon Jovi, The Philadelphia Soul, Habitat and Saturn,” enthused Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder of Project HOME. “Our collective talent and resources will expand our capacity and enable us to reach out to more families in need. This is another critical step forward for community revitalization in North Philadelphia.”
Jon Bon Jovi – singer, songwriter, co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team, actor and philanthropist – has had a relationship with Project HOME, whose efforts align with many of Habitat for Humanity’s own initiatives. Bon Jovi worked with Habitat last October (2005) when a Bon Jovi/Habitat For Humanity build of four homes in Philadelphia (which has since increased to six) served as the video shoot location for their chart-topping single, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Bon Jovi would later make an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show with a surprise $1 million donation that has since been used by Oprah’s Angel Network and Habitat For Humanity to build 28 homes in Houma, Louisiana. Now, with plans for the 15 Phase V homes in place, Jon Bon Jovi is currently a motivating force behind a total of 49 homes being built for low-income families.
“These organizations have both made ‘home ownership through hard work’ a reality,” explained Jon Bon Jovi. “In working with Habitat and Project HOME, I’ve seen what a miraculous thing it is to hand someone the keys to a new home – not only a beautiful home that they can be proud to own, but a home that they’ve invested their own time, sweat, and resources in.”
Habitat For Humanity will assist with the development of Phase V and will spearhead the next phase of new homes (Phase VI). “Habitat for Humanity is proud to be a part of this partnership and join Project HOME in providing decent housing in partnership with low-income families in Philadelphia,” said Jonathan Reckford, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are also proud today to recognize Jon Bon Jovi as the first Habitat Ambassador of our newly created Habitat for Humanity Ambassador program.”
Project Home’s Phase V project represents an innovative public/private partnership with funds coming in from both sectors. While Sister Mary’s committed staff has worked tirelessly to secure public funding, it was the organization’s long-standing relationship with Jon Bon Jovi that made securing private funding a possibility. Saturn – who has worked closely with Bon Jovi on other initiatives – stepped up to round out the private sector financing needed to get Phase V off the ground.
“Since its inception, Saturn has embraced environmental commitment and giving back to the communities in which we do business,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn General Manager. “That’s why Saturn, along with its retailers and customers, are pleased to partner with Jon Bon Jovi, the Philadelphia Soul, Habitat for Humanity, and Project HOME to help construct eco-friendly homes for citizens of Philadelphia.”
The Phase V Homeownership Project is the continuation of Project HOME’s goal to revitalize their community by reducing blight and treating vacant properties one block at a time. Project HOME has led other initiatives in the area to empower inhabitants with a sense of responsibility and community with each other. These efforts include open-space/environmental enhancement, a community health service program, after-school and adult learning programs at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs, and economic development along Ridge Avenue.
ABOUT PROJECT HOME:
Since 1989, Project H.O.M.E. has helped more than 7,000 people break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by providing a continuum of care that includes street outreach, supportive housing and comprehensive services that focus on health care, education and employment. We also work to prevent homelessness and poverty through comprehensive neighborhood revitalization in North Philadelphia. These efforts include the renovation of vacant or deteriorated houses which are then sold to first-time homebuyers, economic reinvestment along the Ridge Avenue Corridor, greening of vacant lots, adult and youth education and enrichment programs at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs and community-based health care services. For more information go to www.projecthome.org
ABOUT JON BON JOVI:
Musician, singer, songwriter and actor, JON BON JOVI is most recognizable as the voice for the band BON JOVI. Since the group’s formation in the early 1980’s, BON JOVI has sold more than 100 MILLION records worldwide and at over 2,700 shows in 47 countries more than 32 million fans have seen BON JOVI in concert. The band’s latest album,
HAVE A NICE DAY, includes the smash hit “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” which made history as Bon Jovi became the first rock band ever to have a #1 hit on the country chart. The tour that followed was one of the top grossing tours of 2005/2006, playing to more than 2 million concert-goers worldwide. As the co-owner of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul, Jon Bon Jovi introduced a new model of sports ownership. From the inception of the franchise, the mission was to use the team to give back to the local community. Heading into their fourth season, the Philadelphia Soul Organization has given away $2 million to local causes. Bon Jovi’s charitable works focus on the issue of homelessness and include the creation of the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation; the launch of a limited edition outerwear collection with Kenneth Cole New York (with proceeds benefiting HELP USA); partnering with Project HOME in Philadelphia; and a sustained partnership with Habitat for Humanity that has thus far provided 49 families with a place to call home. For more info visit www.bonjovi.com and www.philadelphiasoul.com
ABOUT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL:
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, GA in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world’s leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential, and commercial financing and insurance. GM’s OnStarr subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security, and information services. More information can be found at www.gm.com