By Ariana Bacle
August 25, 2014 at 02:06 PM EDT
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV

At last year’s Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus made headlines for twerking on Robin Thicke and sticking out her tongue. This year, the pop singer kept it tame and gave her one moment in the spotlight to someone else: A homeless man named Jesse.

Cyrus won the Video of the Year award for “Wrecking Ball” but instead of walking up to the stage to claim the Moonman for herself, she sent Jesse up as she cheered for him from the sidelines. “My name is Jesse, and I’m 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 started. “I know this because I am one of these people.”

His hand was shaking holding the microphone, so presenter Jimmy Fallon grabbed on to the mic to help steady it as Jesse continued to speak. “Though I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have many of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight.”

He encouraged viewers to visit Cyrus’ Facebook page, where visitors can find links to charities they can donate to that seek to end youth homelessness. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream,” Jesse ended his speech. “But a dream you dream together is a reality.”

Video courtesy of MTV.