Lakers Star Kobe Bryant Joins Over 5,000 People to Fight Homelessness in L.A. County in 5th Annual United Way HomeWalk -- November 19

Annual 5K Run/Walk Has Raised over $1.7 Million and Moved 9,000 into Housing

Nov 09, 2011, 11:30 ET from United Way of Greater Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


Part of United Way's campaign to end poverty in L.A. County, HomeWalk is a 5K run/walk to raise public awareness and fund solutions to end homelessness, an extreme form of poverty. Over the last four years, 18,000 people have walked, raising $1.7M and helping over 9,000 people off the streets.

This year, Kobe Bryant is Honorary Chair for HomeWalk, which will kick off at Exposition Park in front of the Los Angeles Coliseum.


L.A. County remains the Homeless Capital of the nation.

  • On any given night, over 51,000 people are homeless in L.A. County; over 9,000 are veterans

  • 62% of the homeless population are unsheltered, living on the streets or in cars

  • Number one cause of homelessness is loss of a job; Over 93,000 families in L.A. County earn less than $10,000 each year

  • 40% of the homeless population are women and children; 24% of the homeless population is chronically homeless

  • Over 1.5 million L.A. County residents (16%) live below the poverty line ($22,000/year for a family of four) and one in five children live under the poverty level


Over 5,000 L.A. residents running and walking to help end homelessness, including the following expected celebrities and officials:

  • L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant (2011 Honorary Chair)

  • Dancing With The Stars Contestant and U.S. Veteran J.R. Martinez

  • Ron Thomas (father of Kelly Thomas, the homeless man who was beaten to death in July, 2011)

  • United Way of Greater Los Angeles CEO Elise Buik

  • L.A. County Supervisors Mark Ridley Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky

  • L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel


Saturday, November 19, 2011

  • 8:15 a.m. Press opportunity to speak with Kobe Bryant about his efforts to end homelessness in L.A. County

  • 8:30 a.m. Opening Ceremonies, including remarks from Kobe Bryant and Elise Buik; music by New Directions Choir and El Sereno Middle School Marching Band

  • 9:00 a.m. Run/walk begins; educational journey along route

  • 10:15 a.m. Runners and walkers finish


Exposition Park

700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles


  • Opening remarks and ceremonies
  • Educational journey along the walk with exhibits along the route that illustrate life of homeless and the path to permanent housing
  • Interviews with Kobe Bryant, Elise Buik, local and state officials (see above list) as well as individuals and families that have been housed as a result of HomeWalk and United Way efforts

SOURCE United Way of Greater Los Angeles