Almost a year after Miley Cyrus took along a homeless man as her date to the MTV Video Music Awards, the singer has launched a foundation to help homeless youth.
The Happy Hippie Foundation aims to raise awareness of the issues affecting the homeless and LGBT youth community.
In an interview with ABC News, the 22-year-old said she believed she could ‘fix’ the issue of homeless young people.
“I’m the one that can fix it,” she explained. “I think I’ve been able to identify with it just because I’ve never thought of myself as, ‘I’m a girl and so I can’t do this, or I can do this, or you’ve got to be a boy to do that.’ I feel completely like I’m not tied to a gender or to an age. I feel like an infinite cosmic thing, and that’s what I want people to feel.”
It was after she took Jesse Helt along to the 2014 MTV VMAs that she felt inspired to launch the Happy Hippie Foundation because of the attention generated by that gesture.
“We started a year ago with Jesse and we were focused on the homeless youth in LA and different support groups in San Francisco,” she said.
“Now, we’re going bigger and wanting to take on America. And by the end of it we’re going to be taking on the world.”
Miley took along the young homeless man Jesse Helt as her date to the MTV VMAs last August
Miley explained that much of the homeless youth problem involves the LGBT community “because of the lack of acceptance and alienating people in society”.
"The position I'm in, I feel like I've got a lot of power," she told The Associated Press. "But so many kids don't feel that way. They're under their parents' rule."
"It's not going to be an overnight process," she added. "You've got to get into a lot of people's brains and you've got to really make this a topic."
Funds raised by Happy Hippie will create digital support groups for LGBT youth and their families. The foundation is also aiding My Friend's Place, a center for homeless youth in Hollywood.
To launch the Happy Hippie Foundation and raise money and awareness for its programs, the singer is unveiling a collection of music video collaborations with other artists.
“We’re launching with ‘Backyard Sessions’ with these videos on Facebook,” Cyrus said.
“They’re doing something that I think they’ve maybe done once before. They rarely do this. It has a donate button so it’s embedded with the video.”
She enlisted the help of friends like Joan Jett and Ariana Grande to take part in the recording sessions in her backyard.
“It was the best day pretty much ever,” she said. “Bring it back to something that matters. I don’t really want to sing just for myself. I want to be doing something for the world.”