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Jon Bon Jovi cuts ribbon on housing complex

Jon Bon Jovi’s hit tune “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” took on new meaning Tuesday as the rock star cut the ribbon on a namesake housing development for low-income residents and the formerly homeless in Philadelphia.

The 55-unit JBJ Soul Homes opened in the Francisville neighborhood after about 18 months of construction. Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation provided the lead gift for the $16.6 million complex, which he hopes will offer tenants the support they need to get back on their feet.

“This is not a handout, it’s just a hand up,” Bon Jovi said in an interview before the official ceremony. “This opportunity for them is special and it’s not easy to come by.”

The four-story building, which was financed by public and private funds, also includes retail and office space. Residents will receive social services from Project HOME, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness in Philadelphia. HOME stands for Housing, Opportunities, Medical and Education.

Residents of JBJ Soul Homes will have access to basic medical care, employment training and educational classes. They are required to contribute part of their income toward rent. Several units have been set aside for young adults to help them transition out of programs for homeless teens.

Leno returning to his alma mater

Jay Leno is returning to his alma mater, Emerson College, to deliver the commencement address this spring.

The small liberal arts college in Boston announced Tuesday the 1973 graduate will speak at the 134th commencement ceremony on May 11. NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” host Scott Simon will address the graduate students.

Leno hosted NBC’s late-night talk show “The Tonight Show” for more than two decades before retiring in February. He was replaced by former “Saturday Night Live” star Jimmy Fallon.

The graduation will be streamed live at the Agganis Arena at Boston University.

DeGeneres behind new HGTV show

Ellen DeGeneres is making a furniture design competition series for the HGTV network.

HGTV said Tuesday that “Ellen’s Design Challenge” is expected to air sometime next year. It will feature six competitors who sketch, design and build furniture within 24 hours, and will play out over six episodes.

DeGeneres is helping to produce the series; the network isn’t saying whether or not she will actually appear on it.

The birthday bunch

Actor Lee Majors is 75. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 71. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 65. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 60. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 54. Actor-comedian-talk show host George Lopez is 53. Actor-writer-comedian John Oliver is 37. Pop singer Taio Cruz is 31. Actress Rachel Skarsten is 29. Actor Camryn Walling is 24. Actor Dev Patel is 24.


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