(The Pavement, 4 February 2010) Celebrities love to do (or be seen doing) their bit for homeless people – bar Jonathan Creek star Alan Davies, who bit a homeless man instead. In honour of their selfless deeds, we’ve collected a number of stars that have made the news for helping our readers over the festive season.
Not one known to gush, Hollywood hard-man Russell Crowe proved he was a softie at heart when he gave his winter coat to a homeless fan, known as Radio Man, who had cycled to Pittsburgh just to see Crowe on set filming The Next Three Days. The coat in question was a grey, downy number with a fur hood. Good job Radio Man’s favourite actor isn’t Sex And The City clothes horse Sarah Jessica Parker.
Russell Crowe’s coat pales into insignificance, however, in comparison to the generous gifts of the French first lady, Carla Bruni, who has struck up a friendship with a homeless man living near in her Paris home. Denis, 53, said Ms Bruni regularly hands over €50 or €100 notes, and the pair discuss books and music. The 41-year-old ex-model has also given her neighbour a military-style duvet and offered to put him up in a hotel, an offer he turned down. “It’s not that I enjoy being in the street, but I’ve got my habits,” Denis told reporters. “People say it’s cold. That’s true, but I’m well covered up.” It’s also a good excuse to use when his new friend asks if he’s listened to her latest album.
Rather than handing out CDs, living music legend Bob Dylan is donating the sales of his latest musical offering to homelessness. In the festive spirit (or possibly after one too many festive spirits), the grizzled singer-songwriter recorded an album of traditional Yuletide favourites entitled Christmas In The Heart. Released on October 12, the royalties go towards Crisis UK and the World Food Programme. Bob Dylan rocking out ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’? The times they are a-changing.
But first prize goes to fashion oddball Lady Gaga, who last year raised US$35,000 for a Toronto shelter, toured youth shelter Eva’s Phoenix and dished out free concert tickets to young volunteers as part of Virgin Mobile’s RE*Generation campaign to help homeless youngsters in the US. “If I can be inspiring to them and be a part of it, that makes me feel more powerful than any of the stage drama or the flashing lights,” gushed the Paparazzi star.