Veterans Matter National Homeless Veterans Housing Program at CRS2020

Artist Advocates have now housed  3,500+ homeless veterans — and counting.

We need your help.

This program started because 2 Artist Advocates, John Mellencamp and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top cared about the homeless veterans on the streets…. It grew because people like you cared too!

If you clicked the link it is because you care about veterans and likely wanted to see if this was a legit program. Yes, it was created by a formerly homeless guy/turned CEO, has an 8% Admin Rate, no big salaries and pure transparency.  After due diligence, more and more Artist Advocates and their teams are helping. We hope you become one of those.   

Every Artist helping us already has NUMEROUS causes they support, yet they stood up with the voiceless veterans on the streets who needed their help. If you feel called to join us, history will show that you too responded to their call. Whether you give minutes or hours, raise a dollar or dollars, you will be DIRECTLY helping another hero get housed.


There is no playbook for building a national movement. Yet, thanks to CUMULUS Media and Westwood One Networks, at this year’s 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, a dozen compassionate Country artists recorded liners to help us house over 150 more veterans.  They joined 20+ other artists across all formats who too serve as that voice for the voiceless, by providing unique fan experiences, onetime PSA’s for social media, to unsolicited videos produced by their support team. In all, 3,500+ veterans or veteran families are no longer sleeping in their cars, on the streets or in shelters.

We are now rallying others in the industry who care about veterans, into one cohesive force. If you feel inspired to help us help the veterans on the streets, read on.

The Beginning

A chance visit by John Mellencamp to a Tent City in Toledo, Ohio, in 2007, sparked the creation of the non-profit, (long before the various “Matters” groups). Managed and largely funded by a formerly homeless addict/alcoholic turned CEO, Ken Leslie, 1Matters creates and funds new programs which actually and efficiently help the homeless. The Veterans Matter National Homeless Veterans Housing Program is their first national program.

NHVHP went national in 2014 after Dusty Hill asked Ken to expand his veterans housing program to help house the vets in Dusty’s hometown of Houston. Ken created a cloud-based system to accommodate Dusty’s request and get Houston vets housed in the long term, permanent housing. Nearly $500,000 has been raised and nearly 1,000 Texas veterans have been housed – just because Dusty cared about “my veterans.”

After John Mellencamp and author Mitch Albom had Ken expand the program to their home states  (along with funds raised by other Artist Advocates including Bob RitchieKaty Perry, artist management, and two national Cumulus Broadcasting radio campaigns) the program grew to 21 states. This history has been well documented in the industry and national press.

At this point, if you feel called to help in any small or large measure, please do. We can provide all the content/talking points etc. you need to help get the word out, house veterans, or inspire others to help. Any ideas you have are very much welcome!

Note from Ken

Having been homeless myself, I know even one more night might be one too many for the 37,085 homeless veterans living on the streets of our nation. It pissed me off that any veteran would have to continue to live on the street when they didn’t have to.

So I created a simple way to help get them housed quickly into PERMANENT housing. When a couple of celebrity types asked me to replicate it in their home states and committed to raise the funds, I created an online system to help get them housed in literally minutes.

I created it to be something I would want to donate to: Low cost – high efficiency – high impact, and completely transparent. Admin expenses are 8% and every dollar we deploy results in another veteran housed every time. As for transparency, every day we post on our website the number of veterans, veteran families, and families with children housed, and where.

This accuracy of reporting allows us to pinpoint results. For example we know because of Dusty Hill’s engagement, over 1,163 Houston veterans got housed. Or we know John Mellencamp was responsible for over 317 Indiana vets getting housed, and counting.

As for credibility, it has all been well documented in the press.

Right now, our mission is to recruit the famous to crusade for the anonymous. By helping us illuminate the hidden struggle, you can motivate Americans to help those who served, but now live on the streets. Whether you want to help raise funds, or just help us get the word out, it will all result in another veteran or veteran family with children get housed. Every time.  

It really is simply that simple. If you feel called to help us help them directly, or just be a voice for the voiceless,  that’s simple too,  just join us.

Ken Leslie

We at Veterans Matter, and 151 now housed Veterans would like to thank…


  1. Lady Antebellum
  2. Dierks Bentley
  3. Little Big Town
  4. Kane Brown
  5. Luke Bryan
  6. Florida Georgia Line
  7. Chris Janson
  8. Justin Moore
  9. Maren Morris
  10. Cole Swindell
  11. Carrie Underwood
  12. Chris Young

For their support of our 2019 Veterans Day Campaign

For information about our 2020 Veterans Day Campaign contact Ken Leslie on the CRS2020 app.

We created a no bullshit program that just gets homeless veterans housed in PERMANENT housing. It’s just that simple.

Produced and donated by George Thorogood’s team and management.

Dusty Hill’s original “How It Works”

John’s “Home Again – In Their Own Words” Intro

This 3 minute video produced by the VA explains how this works so well.

First, Help Us

Get the Word Out

Social Media 

Reinforce your image of compassion for the forgotten veterans on the streets. We can send provide regular stock or custom content urging all Americans to care as much as you do. You can start by adding our Facebook page here. Campaign Hashtag: #Mission1000more. Optionally, you can also promote our text-to-give. Post “To house a hero right now, “Text “Vets” to 41444 and make a donation of any amount.” 

We have created a dynamic group of shareable images that you can post to your Twitter or Instagram. This content can loop back your fans and followers to your website, blog post, to donate, or learn more about how they too can become a hero and house the heroes still on the streets. Add our Instagram: @veteransmatter  Twitter: @GetVetsHoused  Campaign Hashtag: #Mission1000more. Optionally you can also promote our text to give, “Text “Vets” to 41444 and make a donation of any amount.

For Veterans Day, Memorial Day and other events we will provide social media, websites and news blog content conveying your support for our veterans still on the streets, and how your fans can join you in caring.

Unusual artist selfies with a printed or handwritten “HELP our homeless vets! #Mission1000more –”  or  “Text “vets” to 41444 to house veterans now,” or, “Let’s rally up for the forgotten veterans still living on the streets. or… you get the idea. You know your audience better than we do, so anything you think think of that will motivate them to help you house another hero.

Why not post a personal video about why you care about the homeless veterans abandoned and lost on the streets. Or ask your fans to post their videos about why they care about veterans? Please include “”, mission1000more. Optionally you can also promote our text to give, “Text “Vets” to 41444 and make a donation of any amount.

Record a video or just audio for our national radio, or social media campaigns. Under :30 seconds for radio, unlimited ad lib for social


Or House

Another Hero


This has been highly successful. Convene a group of people in your hometown to raise the funds to house your veterans. As of 2/19 – Dusty’s area of operation has now housed nearing 1000 Texas Veterans. For John, nearing 300 Indiana veterans have been housed,  and for Mitch/Katy and Bob, over 500 veterans housed in Michigan.

The easiest? Create a quick Veterans Matter Facebook Fundraiser or Birthday Fundraiser.  Easy and VERY effective. Every $750 houses another veteran in PERMANENT housing!

The second easiest? It’s all the rage. Let’s create together the most unique experience which is then auctioned or raffled nationally with the proceeds housing more heroes.

Its not a marketing slogan, we are seeing homeless veterans beaten, robbed even killed. They need someone to stick up for them. There are 1000 very worthwhile veteran causes out there. We created this thing to help the vets who have nowhere else to go. If you feel called to help us help them, just let us know and we will get it done – together.

Publicly challenge your friends and fans through the press and social media to match or exceed your donation.

Host a house party inviting others who care about our homeless veterans as much as you. The founder will help you convey how Veterans Matter houses veterans AND prevents others from becoming unhoused. Money raised can first be targeted at your choosing.

Privately or publicly call or visit some of the veterans housed by Veterans Matter, or call major donors to thank them for their support.

 Or Inspire


Examples of Artist Engagement 

Katy donated VIP party packs/M&Gs on two tours for Veterans Matter to auction. The results housed 22 veterans in two states, and her support inspired one package winner to spearhead the creation of Operation Mid-Atlantic, which has now housed 12 more veterans.

Every time Bob posts about Veterans Matter on his social media, he inspired his fans to donate enough to house 4 more veterans in his home state of Michigan.

Because Dusty decided to help house veterans in his home state of Texas, he inspired other artists to help us house over 2,700 vets. Nearly 1000 of those in Texas.

Joined our mission and launched Operation Michigan with a founding donation of $10,000. Over 300 Michigan veteran families have been  welcomed into their own, safe, permanent housing.

The same day John became Chair of Operation Indiana, we recieved an anonymous $37,000 donation. Now, nearly 300 Indiana vets are housed.

During a holiday hiatus, unsolicited by us, Georges team created an exceptional video explaining Veterans Matter.

John created a fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 to celebrate his 50 years in the music industry.