After talking to Cruze on The Buzz this morning I decided to look into the background of the “homeless” guy that appeared on the MTV VMA awards to accept an award for Miley Cyrus. Turns out he is from near here in Salem, Oregon. He left his home to go to LA and pursue a career in modeling and acting just like so many other kids out of high school. Teens without homes is a real issue and one that gets brushed aside too often. I have only had one experience with a homeless teen at the high school where I work, but then learned that our school has the highest rate in our district. We are also the largest school in the district. We all stepped up to be sure this student had everything they needed to participate in our department. Here’s what I read on abc.com about Jesse Helt.
Cyrus met Helt through My Friend’s Place, an organization that helps homeless youth find shelter, healthcare and education. The Oregon native said during his VMA speech he has lived in shelters all over Los Angeles.
His mother Linda Helt told The Oregonian he left home “because he wanted to make it on his own,” even if that meant being homeless at times.”He called me and he said, ‘Mom, I’m living in a bush,'” she said.
Linda Helt added that her son returned to Salem to escape the limelight after the speech went viral.
Helt said he had a “lot of the same dreams” that brought many people to the VMAs, and added, “I’ve been an extra in your movies, I’ve been an extra in your lives.”
“I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving and lost and scared for their lives,” he said. “I know, because I am one of those people.”