LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, United Way of Greater Los Angeles hosted its 10th Annual HomeWalk, a 5K family run/walk to raise public awareness and funds to end homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles' Grand Park. United Way President and CEO, Elise Buik, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, City Council President Herb Wesson, City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, other elected and civic leaders, Presenting Sponsor representatives, Cinny Kennard, Annenberg Foundation, and Peter Laugharn and Steve Hilton of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and a special appearance by former Los Angeles Rams player, Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, were among the nearly 12,000 participants who came together to raise awareness and funds necessary to help end homelessness. This year's top individual fundraiser was Dennis Arriola, chairman and chief executive officer of SoCalGas and the top team fundraiser was SoCalGas. Over the past nine years, HomeWalk has raised over $6.5 million, helping to house 17,000 people. This year's event raised more than $1 million, with help from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which matched every $5,000 a person or team raised with another $5,000.
"United Way remains deeply committed to ensuring that every single one of our neighbors has a safe place to live, and with a record of nearly 12,000 HomeWalk participants this year, we are so grateful for the continued support we've seen from the community," said Elise Buik, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "We will continue working tirelessly with our partners across all sectors to combat this homelessness crisis that has plagued our region for far too long. We thank our supporters and donors across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for the unprecedented collaboration, driving public and civic will towards the solutions that work to end homelessness, such as permanent supportive housing."
With nearly 47,000 men, women, and children suffering from homelessness in Los Angeles County, of which over 3,000 are veterans, United Way and its partners have long been committed to permanently ending homelessness in the area. Support from HomeWalk sponsors, including Presenting Sponsors Annenberg Foundation, and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Major Sponsors including ACCO Engineering Systems, AEG, Edison International, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Learn4Life, SoCalGas, and Wells Fargo, ensures that 100 percent of funds raised go directly to the community. In addition to the annual HomeWalk fundraiser, United Way has also spearheaded the groundbreaking Home for Good initiative, which was built in collaboration with more than 200 business, government, faith, and philanthropic leaders and organizations to end homelessness in L.A. County, starting with chronically homeless individuals and veterans.
Homeless statistics in Los Angeles County:
- Nearly 47,000 men, women, children and veterans are living without the safety and comfort of a home on any given night.
- 40% are women, children and youth.
- While we have made tremendous impact reducing veteran homelessness by 57% -- over 3,000 are still suffering on our streets.
- Homelessness exists in all of our communities: 90% of homeless individuals live outside of Skid Row.
Today's event commenced with elected officials, celebrities, athletes, and thousands of participants in this year's new location in Downtown Los Angeles' Grand Park. The homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County is one of United Way's core priorities in its efforts to develop pathways out of poverty. HomeWalk is one part of United Way's work to raise public awareness and create solutions to end homelessness. For more information, please go to www.homewalkla.org.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF GREATER LOS ANGELES
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways out of poverty by helping homeless people move into housing, providing students with the support they need to graduate high school prepared for college and the workforce, and helping hard-working families become financially stable. United Way identifies the root causes of poverty and works strategically to solve them by building alliances across all sectors, funding targeted programs and advocating for change. For more information, visit www.unitedwayla.org.
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SOURCE United Way of Greater Los Angeles