Jewel Asks Americans "Why Housing Matters" to Inspire a New Song and Raise Awareness for the Benefits of Public Housing

ReThink: Why Housing Matters Initiative Launches Contest to Underscore the Importance of Public Housing For Individuals, Families, and Communities Nationwide

Apr 22, 2014, 10:00 ET from ReThink

CHESHIRE, Conn., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Public housing provides homes and services for approximately 2.2 million people in the U.S.; however, the need is much greater than that. Given current economic and federal budget conditions, public housing availability continues to decrease, while the need for it continues to grow.

Today, ReThink Ambassador and four-time Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Jewel invites Americans to take a minute to think about their home and share why housing matters to them. Jewel will be writing a new song about "Why Housing Matters" to raise awareness of the benefits of public housing and to encourage Americans to rethink their perceptions of public housing.

Now through Wednesday, May 14, Americans are encouraged to go to and submit a short essay and optional photo describing why home matters to them. Soon after, Americans will have the chance to cast a vote for their favorite entry at The top 10 entries will serve as inspiration to Jewel as she creates a new song about "Why Housing Matters." The person with the winning entry will meet Jewel in Los Angeles and attend an exclusive performance of the song they inspired her to write.  

Once homeless, Jewel understands the importance of having a stable place to live. She remembers what it was like to not have a roof over her head or not know where her next meal was coming from. As ReThink Ambassador for the second year, Jewel will continue to spread news about the initiative through media appearances in the coming weeks and launch the new song about housing later this year.

"I'm so honored to have the opportunity to continue to work with ReThink to raise awareness for people who may not have a stable place to live. ReThink is an important initiative that inspires people to think differently about the importance of home. I'm truly looking forward to gathering perspectives and inspiration about what your home means to you, and turning it into a song that I hope will help shed light on this important cause," says Jewel.

"There are simple things in life we take for granted, like having a safe and stable place to live, and some people don't realize that public housing offers more than a roof over someone's head. Public housing is a home, it builds community, and it provides services to people like you and me," says Courtney Rice, Corporate Communications and Branding Manager at Housing Authority Insurance, Inc. "Jewel has been an incredible partner and advocate in sharing stories from her past. Now, we're thankful to have her use her songwriting talent and voice to help connect with Americans on the importance of having a home." 

ReThink: Why Housing Matters is an initiative challenging the sometimes negative perceptions Americans have about public housing by sharing stories of success made possible through public housing. Visit to hear Jewel's perspective and experience inspirational stories of public housing – and rethink its impact on individuals, families, and your own community.

ReThink can be found on Facebook at, Twitter @ReThinkTweets, Instagram @rethinkhousing, and on YouTube at

For more details on the ReThink "Why Housing Matters" Song Contest, including official rules and details, please visit and

About ReThink
The ReThink initiative was developed by Housing Authority Insurance, Inc. (HAI, Inc.) with the support of its trade partners in the public housing industry. HAI, Inc. is a part of HAI Group, which is a family of companies that serves the public and affordable housing community with special, niche insurance programs as well as other value-added products and services such as training and software solutions. HAI Group and its trade partners believe in supporting ReThink to further the mission and purpose of public housing to provide housing and services to millions of Americans who might otherwise be homeless.

Housing Authority Insurance, Inc.
Housing Authority Insurance, Inc. (HAI, Inc.) sponsors programs for its membership, including insurance and risk management programs, scholarship and internship programs, and charitable activities. HAI, Inc. advocates for and supports legislative and regulatory issues that help to improve the public and affordable housing industries. HAI, Inc. is a nonprofit association incorporated in 1987.