With two sold-out shows and a lot of buzz, the band brought new life to a big issue
When guitarist Stone Gossard stopped by Real Change to talk about the Home Shows, he was clear: This isn’t going to solve homelessness. But it might just help get people talking and working together.
“We’re going to raise a lot of money,” he told vendor Darrell Wrenn, but added that “nothing’s going to change unless the momentum from this show continues in the form of, you know, political pressure being applied.”
And raise money they did. At last count, the shows have raised, the time of this reporting, close to $12 million.
“Momentum” is a good word to describe the effect of the Home Shows, which stretched far beyond Safeco Field. More than 80 restaurants agreed to contribute portions of their sales to the fundraising efforts. Georgetown Brewing created a limited-run Pale Ale and donated $2 from each six-pack sale to the cause. Theo Chocolate, glassybaby, MoPOP and Easy Street Vinyl all took part, offering special events and donating funds.
The band worked with nonprofits like the United Way and the Chief Seattle Club to focus on key areas of homelessness, including its impact on students and the needs of Indigenous residents.
Inside the stadium, concertgoers bore witness to homelessness and its impacts in the city. Rex Holbein, founder of Facing Homelessness, donated a few photos to a video that was broadcast to tens of thousands of people in the audience.
“This is about community,” Holbein said of the Home Shows. “This is an opportunity for Pearl Jam to make a huge difference.”
Holbein says that, while a concert series may not solve the problem, finding ways to bring King County’s thousands of homeless individuals inside is going to require folks from different backgrounds coming together and bringing what they’re good at.
“We have the numbers. If everybody brings their layer, we can end homelessness.”
Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard talks Home Shows, homelessness with Real Change vendor
Check out the full Aug. 15 - Aug. 21 issue.
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