Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

LA Times’ Steve Lopez explains his and Jon Bon Jovi’s parallel paths to fighting homelessness.

This week on Off-Ramp, we walk through LAMP Community, the Skid Row homeless center, with rocker Jon Bon Jovi (right), whose Soul Foundation has built hundreds of units of affordable housing in the last 6 years. The reason I got invited in the first place is Steve Lopez (left), the muckraking LA Times columnist. We’re pals from his time at the Philadelphia Inquirer and my time at WHYY.

But Steve and JBJ also have Philly roots in homeless advocate Sister Mary Scullion, as Steve explains in his Talk Back blog.

Bon Jovi, it turns out, is no dilettante. He has studied public policy issues regarding mental health and homelessness in various cities while on tour, calling it a fact-finding mission for his nonprofit organization. The charity supports affordable housing projects, and I've seen the effects of Bon Jovi's generosity in Philadelphia, where once-devastated neighborhoods have been rebuilt by and for Sister Mary's mental health clients, or family members, as she would call them.

Bon Jovi is now playing a video during their concerts which encourages people to volunteer for any cause that moves them, and Steve is soliciting comments from his readers about how volunteering has changed their lives.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)