The 55-unit JBJ Soul Homes is expected to open in the Francisville neighborhood in about a year.
Bon Jovi's Soul Foundation provided the lead gift for the $16 million project, which is a collaboration among several private and public agencies.
The four-story building will include retail and office space. Forty units are being set aside to house the homeless.
At the groundbreaking Tuesday, Bon Jovi said public-private partnerships are important at a time when the country is so polarized.
He says he hopes future residents of the development will "pay it forward" by helping others.