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Pearl Jam raises millions to help Seattle’s homeless; local businesses join forces with iconic band

SEATTLE -- Thousands of people rushed Safeco Field on Wednesday to see Pearl Jam, with many of them camping out overnight to get the best view.

Others also waited as long as 3 hours to buy merchandise. The loyalty was in full display and now that loyalty could help make a dent in the region’s homeless crisis.

“They say something to you, you just follow suit,” fan David Morrison said.

Morrison traveled all the way from Australia to be a part of the two-day concert series called "The Home Shows." What he and others spent to be at the concert will help to fight our region`s homeless crisis.

“It’s awesome that they are doing that. Of course it’s cool,” fan Matt Ellis said.

The iconic members of Pearl Jam on their website say that the region's homeless population is the third largest in the country and it's not a number not to be proud of.

So now they are stepping in to help their hometown in a big way, giving some direction to a city struggling to put a dent in the crisis.

“People want to help but we often don't know what to do -- this is something that gives us traction,” Caffe Ladro owner Jack Kelly said.

Caffé Ladro is one of 140 businesses who are donating 10% or more from sales to the homeless problem.

Customers say it feels good to be a part of the solution.

“It becomes more deep-rooted when you're a parent, you want to know what the future is going to hold,” Krista Drumhiller said.

Drumhiller plans to spend her dollars at the businesses helping out.

That includes companies like Trophy Cupcakes, which  has already sold hundreds of cupcakes decorated with Pearl Jam’s logo.

“Seven hundred so far, as of last night. We are hoping to do at least that many over the next couple of days,” Christina Logman said.

It’s a unified approach the city of Seattle doesn’t see every day.

“I think it's really unique, I don't think you see a lot of that, you see it somewhat on a small scale but this is on a massive scale,” one fan said.

Matt Hill took in the scene outside Safeco Field on Wednesday, selling the Real Change newspaper. He says he's moved by the community’s cooperation with Pearl Jam. Hill used to be homeless.

“I came to Seattle hoping to change that, and two years ago I was actually able to own my own place,” Hill said.

He says Pearl Jam's efforts will hopefully get more people into housing.

The Seattle Times reported that Pearl Jam has already raised more than $11 million as of Wednesday.

The second concert is set for Friday.

Pearl Jam is not only raising money but encouraging fans to volunteer their time. On their website they have listed organizations and events where fans can give their time, including an event on Thursday when there is a break between the two concerts.