Richard Gere helps effort to aid homeless in his NY hometown

Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2015 file photo, Actor, activist and philanthropist Richard Gere speaks during the Liberty Medal ceremony at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.  Gere has given a boost to the Salvation Army in his upstate New York hometown.
The star of such films as “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Pretty Woman” was the guest speaker Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016,  for the Salvation Army's 45th annual Civic Celebration held at a downtown Syracuse arena. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2015 file photo, Actor, activist and philanthropist Richard Gere speaks during the Liberty Medal ceremony at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Gere has given a boost to the Salvation Army in his upstate New York hometown. The star of such films as “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Pretty Woman” was the guest speaker Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, for the Salvation Army's 45th annual Civic Celebration held at a downtown Syracuse arena. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Richard Gere has given a boost to the Salvation Army in his upstate New York hometown.

The star of such films as "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Pretty Woman" was the guest speaker Wednesday for the Salvation Army's 45th annual Civic Celebration held at a downtown Syracuse arena.

Gere grew up in nearby North Syracuse. He said his portrayal of a destitute man living on the streets of Manhattan in the 2014 film "Time Out of Mind" made him realize that most people purposely don't give a second glance to the homeless.

He said that needs to be changed to a more compassionate and understanding attitude.

Salvation Army officials said Gere's appearance will help their efforts to aid the homeless population and others in need.