The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Rapper Nas raises more than $40,000 for homeless D.C. family

Rapper Nas started a Crowdtilt campaign to raise money for a homeless D.C. family. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision/AP Images)
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Just two weeks ago, Stanley Young, an unemployed construction worker and single father of eight, was living in a Holiday Inn with his children after a fire burned down their home on the 500 block of Kennedy Street NW in D.C. The mother of his children died about a year ago, leaving Young on his own to search for a place large enough to house his family.

Knowing his family would have to vacate the hotel by Aug. 13, Young tapped every source of help possible: his church, family, the District of Columbia Office of the Tenant Advocate and the Red Cross.

Help came, instead, from an unexpected source. Rapper Nas’s manager saw the ABC7 news story (above) about the Young’s unfortunate situation and sent the video to Nas, who is currently touring in Japan.

“As a single father I couldn’t help but feel for Stanley. He has my [utmost] respect as a man. It takes a real one to do whatever it takes to help his family,” said Nas in a statement via his publicist. “I want to help the Young family get a fresh start on life and I want the world to know that they can help make a difference if they stick together. We are learning an incredible lesson and Stanley is the teacher of that lesson. I cannot wait to meet them in person.”

Nas started a Crowdtilt campaign, asking others to help him raise funds for the Young’s housing. The campaign already exceeded its first goal of $20,000, which Nas supplemented with another $5,000 of his own money, promising that all funds will go to the Young family. At the time of publication, $47,063.89 had been donated, with nine days left in the campaign. After the campaign’s initial success, Nas raised the goal to $50,000 in hopes of helping the Youngs find a permanent home.

In his campaign description on CrowdTilt, Nas wrote:

“I am also a single father, and we don’t get enough credit in this country. I’m committed to helping Stanley and his eight (yes 8!) kids. Moreover, I believe and hope that we should all, as a community, come together to help our fellow American men and women when they need us in desperate situations like this. See if you can’t find a few dollars to help the Youngs get back on their feet with me. We need to raise enough to extend their stay, and maybe even afford a down payment on a new house or something.”

In 2011, Nas helped UNICEF administer aid to the Horn of Africa and auctioned off his first painting during a performance at Art Basel 2011, donating a winning bid of $14,000 for charity. In 2012, he worked with Saving Our Daughters’ 8th Annual Bratz Doll Drive, giving away 200 dolls to young girls in Queens, NY.