Troy Vaughn, the president and CEO of the Los Angeles Mission – an organisation Kanye West teamed up with to deliver 1,000 meals to rough sleepers last November – has opened up about plans to collaborate more with the rapper, denying rumours that the LA Mission is “frustrated” over West’s lack of incentive.
The news comes via TMZ, who reported yesterday (August 13) that, according to anonymous sources close to the LA Mission, the organisation had been struggling to get in contact with West following their short collaborative stint last year.
Last November, West met with Vaughn to outline four ways he could help tackle homelessness in LA. These included further efforts to provide homeless people with food by partnering with various local charities; using his own companies to provide education, jobs and housing to those in need; utilising his platform and Sunday Service series to highlight the issue, as well as uplift the homeless community; and teaming up with other groups to advocate for homeless people.
Yesterday, West took to Instagram with an obscure post that declared he “look[s] to the homeless” (as well as “the children”) as “the biggest inspiration for all design”.
TMZ initially reported that “sources” linked to the LA Mission claimed West “hasn’t followed through on his vow to help”, and that “little if anything has been done since” last November. After that was published, though, Vaughn shared a statement with the outlet, confirming that the charity has indeed been in talks with West.
“We have absolutely had collaborative discussions with Ye about improving the lives of the unhoused on Skid Row,” he said, “especially through design as he mentioned in his [Instagram post]. We are extremely optimistic that Ye will be an instrumental force in helping us launch The Skid Row Revitalization Project in the coming months.”
According to the magazine Harlem World, the LA Mission began their Skid Row Revitalization Project towards the end of July, with copy from the organisation outlining its aim to “beautify Skid Row, the ground-zero for homelessness for over 100 years”.
The project will reportedly consist of four elemental components two of which will be visual – “We will paint drab buildings in bright colors,” the LA Mission said in its copy, “[and] introduce trees and greenery to the concrete jungle” – while one will be audible, and one gastronomical.
By way of the audible component, the organisation promises to “provide free musical concerts, events, and other initiatives to uplift the community”. And for the gastronomical aspect, the organisation plans to “bring in chefs from Los Angeles’ best restaurants to serve the community”.
In other Kanye news, the week also saw him, Lil Uzi Vert and Steve Lacy get matching tattoos. West recently shared his love for Lacy’s new album, ‘Gemini Rights’, calling the Internet guitarist “one of the most inspiring people on the planet”.