Missy Elliott Puts Smiles On Faces Of 26 Families As She Donates $50k To Pay Their Rent

BY Edwin Lamptey November 5, 2023 4:41 PM EDT
Photo Source: Instagram/@missymisdemeanorelliott

There appears to be an unspoken code amongst the African-American community to give back to society through establishing foundations or making appreciable donations — be it in education, sports, or business. 

Rapper and Portsmouth native, Missy Elliot is reported to have donated $50,000 to her hometown housing organization in Portsmouth, Virginia, a year after the town honored the rapper with a 17th October holiday, which they christened as “Missy Elliot Day.” 

The rapper who is recognized for her talent and philanthropic efforts began her charitable activities in the 1990’s as she donated to help fight HIV/AIDS.

“I feel like as artistes we are celebrated a lot. So instead of it being about me, I wanted it to be about the people here, my hometown,” Missy Elliott shared with News 3.

The executive director of the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Alisa Winston, disclosed that Elliot made the donation during a special ceremony at the Dr O. Marriner Family Life Center at Grove Church.

At the event, the Sock It To Me rapper gave a short speech, telling the audience how she’d planned something big in commemoration of the first anniversary of “Missy Elliot Day.”

“I wanted to give back and let that be the celebration of Missy Elliott, just to show that I love everybody out here,” she explained, noting that she would always keep her hometown close to her heart.

“Just know that P-town is with me no matter where I go. I love my city. I love my state. I love everything about it. Everything about Missy comes from here,” the 52-year-old noted.

Twenty-six families who met specific criteria, such as facing possible eviction, will have their rents paid from Missy Elliot’s donation fund.

“This will allow them to remain in their homes. This will allow them to start fresh with a clean slate,” said Alisa Winston, executive director for Portsmouth Redevelopment Housing Authority.

According to Portsmouth Mayor, Shannon Glover, the danger of being evicted from one’s home is real to too many people, hence the donation will make a difference for the city’s residents.

“It’s a big deal, it’s huge. It keeps families together, and it gives people, once again, hope,” said Shannon Glover, Portsmouth Mayor.

Missy Elliott, who was raised by a single mother could relate to the experiences of being evicted from one’s home.

“Especially for me who has been in a situation like that, my mother is a single mother, that’s what made it important. Because I feel like I can relate to being in a place where you just don’t know where you’re going next,” the Lose Control singer added.

Missy Elliot Day is marked by a celebration of the success and journey of the Work It rapper by the residents of Portsmouth.

The rapper, who has won 5 Grammys and is the only female Hall of Fame rapper, dedicates her success and career to her hometown’s life lessons and faith. She took to her social media and shared snippets of the event where she was seen donating the cardboard cheque.

She captioned the clips with these words:

“Thank you, VA! Where I was born taught me to drive, taught me faith, taught me humility and also taught me, ‘Don’t try me either.’ But most of all taught me the blessings I get are not just for me but to bless someone else. Love to Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority & Executive Director Alisa Winston.”

During the ceremony, the only female Hall of Fame rapper Elliott delivered a short speech of appreciation and also shared how she planned to make the day more meaningful.

Words from Patricia Elliott, the rapper’s late mother’s words from one of her daughter’s previous shows were cited during the event. She said, “When you give, you give because you remember those days when you didn’t have. If each person would give when they get to the top, then what a real beautiful world we would be in.”

In another post, Elliot stood in front of the street sign which the Portsmouth City Council had decided unanimously to change a portion of it to “Missy Elliott Boulevard” last September.

On October 17, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin honored the first Missy Elliott Day in the Commonwealth. Portsmouth held a renaming ceremony and parade to change McLean Street to Missy Elliott Boulevard and gave her the key to the city.

Prior to this donation, the Misdemeanour Queen is said to have donated $20,000 to Portsmouth High, $25,000 to Norfolk State University as well as $20,000 to the Atlanta National Hampton Alumni Association under her foundation, Foundation of Renowned Artists