Last February, Aerosmith’s frontman Steven Tyler celebrated the opening of his new passion project in Memphis, Tennessee: a home for young women who need a sanctuary. The first location of “Janie’s House” was inaugurated in Douglasville, Georgia in 2017, and its name was taken from the band’s 1989 hit, “Janie’s Got A Gun”, a song written by Tyler and bassist Tom Hamilton about a girl whose father abused her.
The inspiration for the song came after Tyler’s stay in a treatment center, where he heard firsthand accounts from women who have experienced countless atrocities. This unfortunate reality spurred a desire in Tyler to help females who have gone through the same ordeal.
“While I was there, all the girls I met had been abused either physically, mentally or verbally, or at least 90 percent of them all,” he said. “So when I got out of there, I laid it all on Janie. I said, what are you going to do?”
Tyler then launched Janie’s Fund in 2015, an organization that aims to “bring much-needed awareness to the issue of abuse and neglect of children and to generate financial support to ensure that girls receive the most effective services available to help them overcome the trauma and pain of abuse.”, according to its website. Janie’s Fund has managed to raise $4 million dollars since its commencement.
The 70-year-old rock legend donated $500,000 to help in the renovation of the facility located in the Youth Villages Bartlett Campus. Known for tying scarves around his microphone stand during his performances, the vocalist graced the symbolic “scarf-cutting” ceremony for Janie’s House, after which the 82-acre home was officially declared open.
The property can house up to 14 girls at a time, a total of about 26 to 30 annually, and will provide them with a safe place to recuperate while receiving proper medical and therapeutic care. The young women will stay in the home for as long as they need to, with the goal of reuniting them with their families or finding another stable home for them to live in.
According to Janie’s Fund website:
“In our country, each year more than 500,000 children suffer from serious neglect each year, more than 100,000 children are beaten or physically abused, and 68,000 children are raped or sexually abused. One in 5 girls is sexually abused before they are 18 years old.”
Tyler knew that there is no time to be wasted in extending help for these women, so he is acting fast. The singer hopes to build a third Janie’s house in Las Vegas later this year.
Girls now staying at Janie’s House were also present in the ceremony. One of them, a 14-year-old girl named JaBrayia, spoke in front of the crowd about her experiences.
“The reason that I am at Janie’s House is because I experienced sexual abuse at the age of three. Through Janie’s House, I can learn a lot about my past and learn I was not the only one that had been through the same problems.”
Tyler wanted to spend his remaining time on earth doing what he can to help others who are in pain. Especially now as a father and grandfather, he wanted to leave a legacy and focus on things that really mattered. As the driving force in the creation of Janie’s Fund, he couldn’t be any happier now that it made possible the expansion of Janie’s House across the country.
“I’m gonna bring this Janie’s fund with me wherever I go. It’s like a dream come true.”
Watch the video below from WJHL to get a glimpse into the opening ceremony of Janie’s House in Tennessee.
You may become one of Janie’s Angels and contribute to Steven Tyler’s cause of helping abused and neglected girls by clicking here.