Radio stations around the country are urgently working together to house at least 2,000 more homeless veterans in support of the Veterans Matter – National Homeless Veterans Housing Program.

With COVID-19 presenting an increased danger to the lives of vulnerable homeless veterans, who are often sleeping on nothing more than a piece of cardboard, a growing cadre of radio stations are responding to the call and stepping up to help move more homeless veterans from cardboard to a headboard in a home of their own.

All involved are raising money and awareness for Veterans Matter, an innovative growing grass-roots program that partners with local Veterans Affairs (VA) homeless programs to successfully house thousands of homeless veterans into their own home for the brave in the land of the free. Because of this partnership every dollar Veterans Matter deploys results in another veteran housed in long term housing that has a 91% success rate keeping them housed.

“Times are tough, but our veterans never quit fighting for us, so we sure as hell are never going to quit fighting for them,” said Ken Leslie, Founder of Veterans Matter and formerly homeless himself. “Every veteran deserves their own home for the brave in the land of the free.”

Radio engagement is being shepherded by Mike McVay, President of McVay Media Consulting. McVay said “One of radios greatest assets is community involvement. Serving those who served our country is the least we can do. We need to get the message out and engage listeners and total communities to help the homeless veterans now – when they need us most.”

Stations in Toledo, Detroit, and Indianapolis are already online, and over 200 CUMULUS Media stations are rolling the campaign out over the next two weeks.

The #Cardboard2Headboard campaign, which culminates on Veterans Day, is designed to compassionately connect talent and stations with their community,

  • Stations are running :30 public service announcements and personal social media videos produced by artists so far include John Mellencamp, Lee Brice, George Thorogood, Brantley Gilbert, Kane Brown, Carly Pearce, Chase Rice, Justin More, Mitchell Tenpenny and others.

  • Station talent are creating and posting their own hand drawn #Cardboard2Headboard signs, and challenging their listeners and community to do the same.

  • Promoting artist fundraising efforts such as August’s raffles for a signed lithograph of an original John Mellencamp painting, a virtual meet and greet with Lee Brice, and a signed drumhead and vinyl record from George Thorogood’s collection.

  • Stations and clusters are selling premium campaign sponsorships allowing the sponsors to differentiate their brand in a crowded market and promote Veterans Matter and their partnership with the stations through print and television media.

“Homeless veterans are a cause that crosses all lines and brings communities together. Stations which use the #Cardboard2Headboard Campaign to engage their entire community will be appreciated as a heart of the community, including the loyal veteran communities, ” added McVay.

Veterans Matter is an innovative grass roots program that was started in Toledo, OH to house 35 local veterans and expanded nationally with the support of Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, John Mellencamp, and Mitch Albom, who wanted to help house veterans in their home states. To date, they have housed nearly 4,000 veterans in 25 states.

“Our mission is simple: house as many veterans as we can, as fast as we can. Stations are rallying their community behind our #Cardboard2Headboard campaign because the veterans need us now, more than ever. It’s simple, when you know veterans will die if you don’t, you just do. We must take care of our own,” said Leslie.

For more information visit Cardboard2Headboard.org.

Stations or artists wanting more information can email trish@veteransmatter.org.