NEW YORK - When Jon Bon Jovi told former President Bill Clinton about a new plan to restore homes in one of Philadelphia's most blighted neighborhoods, his pal was all ears.
Clinton "was intrigued enough that he offered his services, and said, 'If I can help you in any way, don't hesitate.' And we didn't," Bon Jovi told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Clinton stood beside the rocker in Philadelphia on Thursday as he announced his project, called the Phase V Homeownership Project, to renovate 15 decaying homes - "messes of row homes," Bon Jovi said - on two blocks on the city's north side.
Bon Jovi, co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League and creator of the team's charity foundation, teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, the Saturn automobile company and a local charity for the effort.
The rock star received the City of Brotherly Love Award from Mayor John F. Street Thursday night. The presentation was made at the National Constitution Center after the Liberty Medal ceremony, which honored former presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton. Bon Jovi closed the event with a performance of his song "Who Says You Can't Go Home."
"We are all, in fact, connected," Bon Jovi said. "We can make a difference."
He's been on a philanthropy kick lately. Last year, he and Bon Jovi bandmate Richie Sambora surprised Oprah Winfrey with a $1 million donation to her Angel Network and Habitat for Humanity to build 28 homes in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged town of Houma, La.
"I mean, it gives me great joy," he said of his charity work. "There's just too many haves and have-nots in the country."
On the Net:
Habitat for Humanity: http://www.habitat.org/
Philadelphia Soul: http://www.philadelphiasoul.com/