Billy Strings makes sizable donation to home state housing project

Bluegrass mega star, fiery flatpicker Billy Strings, is making news in his home state of Michigan, but not for the sold out shows he puts on all over the country.

According to Crain’s Grand Rapids Business, Billy has provided financial backing for a new housing project for very low income residents in the west central Michigan city of Grand Rapids. Those familiar with the breakout guitarist’s background know that he grew up quite poor in Lansing as a child, and has made a number of charitable donations to agencies and organizations in the area since achieving success in the music business.

His recent contribution of $75,000 to Well House will be used to help in building low cost housing, three new units in Grand Rapids meant to house at least 18 people. Construction is set to begin in May.

Billy told Crains

“Each year, throughout the year, we make several donations to different organizations, and my business manager presents me with a couple options. I told her to look around my hometown, and she found Well House, and it just resonated with me. I grew up around there, and I’ve seen the homeless population in downtown Grand Rapids. Whenever (I was) down there, skateboarding and such, I’d try to give a few bucks here and there. … Now that I’m grown up, it feels nice to give back to the community.”

Strings, born William Apostol, never seeks to bring wide attention to his charitable efforts, but we are sure his many fans who support these endeavors will want to be aware of them.

You can read more about Well House and their plans for these new housing units in Crain’s Grand Rapids Business.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.