(Photo: Christopher Polk / Getty Images Entertainment)
Remember that time that Miley Cyrus sent a homeless guy up onstage to accept her award at the VMAs this past weekend? Well next time she wants to attempt a grand gesture like that, she should probably make sure that the kid is actually homeless. Facepalm.
By the cold light of day, we’re finding out that this guy is a twenty-two year old named Jesse Helt, from Salem, Oregon, and the only reason he’s technically without a home is because he chooses not to live in it after striking out on his own in Los Angeles in an attempt to make it as a model. We felt bad giving Miley side eye in the moment, but come on guys, really?
I’m not trying to undervalue any struggles Jesse may have experienced, but you have to admit that his is a very different plight than that of many homeless people who have lost their homes and/or their families to addiction, mental illness, natural disasters, or any range of tragedies that don’t require headshots. According to Jesse’s mom, whom Oregon Live was able to get in touch with, Jesse moved to LA a few years ago…
“Because he wanted to make it on his own.”
He did have a living situation set up, but later left because it was a bad situation.
“He called me and he said, ‘Mom, I’m living in a bush.’”
And then you what? Sent him money? Be honest. It’s great that Miley and Jesse were able to bring attention to homeless youth, but perhaps in the future she might want to consider a poster boy who doesn’t have a ready made safety net in the form of a living, supportive parent who wasn’t so much worried that her son wasn’t okay, but excited that he was on TV:
“My son, my youngest baby! He called me last night at about one o’ clock. He’s going to be traveling to Oregon today.”
Yeah that’s right — he told his mom that Miley had given him some money, and he chose to use that on a flight home to see his family. Not on food or shelter or survival, because he apparently has all those things — but a flight back home where he presumably eats and lives for free. Times is hard.
Miley met Jesse when she visited My Friend’s Place, an LA center for homeless youth:
“He was at the right place at the right time. It’s time for him to have some good luck. He needs to be blessed.”
You’re right. This attractive, twenty-two year old aspiring model who is now friends with Miley Cyrus really needs to be blessed. God forbid he’d have to move home into the safe, supportive environment that’s been available to him all along.