SEATTLE -- Pearl Jam rocked Seattle Wednesday night as they held their debut “Home Show” concert.
The fund-raising performances are meant to help fight the homeless crisis in Seattle, taking their mission beyond the music. They’ve already raised more than $11 million to combat the issue.
Pearl Jam encouraged fans to volunteer to help homeless in the area.
“Just try and get some stuff organized. The idea is that I want to get all the shampoo and put it one box,” said Kate Camacho, leading a volunteer group at the Arcadia homeless shelter in Auburn.
Inspired by Pearl Jam’s home shows, they’re helping turn the rooms of this house into a welcome space for south King County’s homeless youth.
“A larger entity like Pearl Jam tackling this issue re-legitimizes homelessness as a community issue. It makes it so it’s not just a personal failing of the person experiencing homelessness,” said Camacho.
Pearl Jam’s home shows are at the centerpiece of this week's events aimed at raising money to help the more than 12,000 people experiencing homelessness in Seattle.
“I think that’s what homelessness needs is everyone to get involved,” said Caffee Ladro owner Jack Kelly.
More than 100 businesses joined the band in raising more than $11 million so far, with support from Seattle business leaders like The Gates Foundation, Schultz Family, Alaska Airlines and Chief Seattle Club.
"Over time you see how much your city changes, and over time you hope some funds would be really be filtered to that aren’t,” said Krista Drumheller.
An advisory group of local foundations, nonprofits and leaders with insight on the homeless crisis will meet to decide where the money raised will go. They’ll work with the band over the next several weeks, with Pearl Jam having the final say.
Pearl Jam’s communication firm tells Q13 News that after Seattle’s head tax failed, this kind of community initiative shows that businesses and the community can band together to make a difference.
“It’s a natural progression of good people doing what needs to be done,” said Camacho.
That progression from a life on the street is personal for Camacho; she was a homeless teenager living on the streets of Seattle.
“I felt the effect of these services not being in existence,” said Camacho.
She says she knows firsthand the difference a dollar and a donation can make, and she hopes with the help of one of her favorite bands, concertgoers tune in to the mission behind the music.
“It allows people to break down their own personal stigma and open their hearts, minds and wallets to the different programs that we have established to combat homelessness,” said Camacho.