Project HOME, a Philly-based initiative aiming to raise awareness and provide services for those affected by poverty and homelessness, hopes Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the area will be a catalyst for outreach and change. Through a "Mercy and Justice" program, Project HOME is establishing the Francis Fund to raise money for local organizations fighting poverty and hunger, advocating for policy against hunger and homelessness and creating an interactive art display about the subject.
They've also enlisted the help of superstar Jon Bon Jovi and some local celebrities to get the message out.
In a three-minute video Bon Jovi, actress Lily Tomlin, former Mayor W. Wilson Goode, and former Gov. Ed Rendell join others in spreading the message about The Francis Fund.
"Like Pope Francis says, we must change lives, but more importantly, we must change the systems that keep people in poverty," Tomlin says in the video.
Bon Jovi concludes the video, saying "Act with mercy, seek justice," echoing the video's title and the initiative's aim. The rockstar is no stranger to Project HOME's outreach. Last year his nonprofit, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, partnered with Project HOME to open the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Homes, a 55-unit, permanent supportive-housing complex in Fairmount.