Our annual community-building Tent City started in 1990 after our founder  read a statistic that “60% of the homeless in Toledo were families with children.” The thought of children going through that pain is unconscionable and thusly the Homeless Awareness Project started in 1990.

In 2007 HAP became 1Matters after a visit by singer John Mellencamp to our annual Tent City event. John was moved by the community collaboration and invited all the guests to his concert that evening where he talked with them from the stage. One guest returned to Tent City after the show and said, “John talked to us from the stage, I guess I really do matter.”

Mr. Mellencamp continues to help us expand to Matter to more of the unhoused in our nation, including a ten year anniversary visit to Tent City where he served as Honorary Mayor.

With our Veterans Matter program, a growing cadre of artists are joining John in supporting our mission including Dusty Hill, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock, Ice-T, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Kix Brooks, Darius Rucker and more.