There has been a lot of controversy over Miley Cyrus' decision to bring allegedly homeless Jesse Helt as her date to the Video Music Awards. Some viewers called out Cyrus' decision to speak about the charity My Friend's Place at the award show as a publicity stunt. Others were angered by Cyrus' choice of date, as Helt allegedly has a home in Oregon with his parents and instead chose to live in Los Angeles to pursue fame. Now, Cyrus and Helt are coming under fire again.
Reports now say that Helt has an arrest record, which allegedly includes a drug-related burglary attempt. According to ABC News, Helt violated probation after failing to attend scheduled meetings and now has a warrant out for his arrest. Helt's legal trouble has made many fans question Cyrus' association with Helt — something that is taking precedent over the fact that Cyrus' announcement at the VMAs led to a whopping $200K in donations for My Friend's Place.
I agree that it's disappointing to see someone who may not have presented himself completely sincerely as a spokesperson of sorts for such an important issue, but before we write off Cyrus and Helt's efforts as a publicity stunt, we may want to remember that homelessness doesn't just look one way — and that sometimes the people who need our help the most aren't perfect. While Helt may not be in as dire of a situation as one may assume from his speech at the VMAs, people who struggle with homelessness often do find themselves in legal trouble — it's a sad reality of the situation.
Helt doesn't need to be a perfect stand-in for the entire homeless population in order to work with Cyrus' charity, and Cyrus' efforts shouldn't be written off because Helt has a past that doesn't quite align with all that we believe about homeless people. After all, she is raising money for a good cause, and Helt is helping her do it — maybe we should appreciate the support.