When news broke that Jesse Helt, the young homeless man Miley Cyrus invited to the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, had a criminal past, the "We Can't Stop" singer defended her VMA date, saying: "People who are homeless have lived very hard lives."
Those struggles continue for 22-year-old Helt, who was sentenced to six months jail time on Tuesday (October 7). Page Six reports that before Jesse left the Dallas, Oregon courtroom, he told Judge Monte S. Campbell that he would "like to be viewed as a good person, not a nuisance to society." He will receive credit for 57 days previously served.
Helt's legal troubles began in 2010 when he was arrested for breaking and entering in his native Oregon. He subsequently violated probation and failed to complete his court-ordered community service before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked sporadic jobs and frequently found himself homeless.
Jesse met Miley through My Friend's Place, a shelter for homeless youth in L.A. Hoping to spark a national conversation about youth homelessness, Cyrus invited Helt to the VMAs. He accepted her Video Of The Year Moonman for "Wrecking Ball" on her behalf.
"I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States, who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now," Jesse said in his emotional acceptance speech before urging the music industry -- as well as the public at large -- to pay attention to those 1.6 million young people.
Check out My Friend's Place, Miley's Facebook page or other organizations like the National Alliance to End Homelessness or the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness for more information on youth homelessness.