LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is proud to take part in this year's United Way HomeWalk to help raise money and awareness to end homelessness in Los Angeles County. It will be a sea of SoCalGas blue t-shirts as more than 800 "Team SoCalGas" participants take part in the 5K Fun Run/Walk on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. at Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Park Dr., Los Angeles. Team SoCalGas has also raised more than $100,000 in donations to help provide permanent supportive housing for ending homelessness.
This is the ninth year SoCalGas employees, along with their family and friends, have supported HomeWalk and the third year in a row that Team SoCalGas has had more walkers and runners than any other team at HomeWalk. Los Angeles County is considered the "Homeless Capitol of the World," where 1.7 million people live below the poverty line and 44,359 individuals are homeless with 4,362 being veterans. Over the past eight years, 63,000 walkers have come together to raise more than $5 million with 100 percent of the proceeds from HomeWalk going back into the community and housing 15,900 people since its inception.
"I'm so proud of our employees and their commitment this year and every year we've taken part," said Dennis Arriola, president and CEO of SoCalGas who also serves on the board of directors for United Way of Greater Los Angeles and is the Executive Champion for Team SoCalGas. "Through HomeWalk, we make a significant difference in eradicating homelessness. Our employees see it in their daily activities and many have first-hand knowledge of the homeless in their communities. I'd also like to thank many of our vendors and suppliers who donated to Team SoCalGas. In fact, some of those folks will be walking with us tomorrow."
"We are so amazed and inspired by Team SoCalGas' efforts and support to help our most vulnerable neighbors," said Elise Buik, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Los Angeles. "By partnering with companies such as SoCalGas who are deeply committed to the community, we'll reach United Way's core mission to create pathways out of poverty for all in Los Angeles County by eradicating homelessness."
Team SoCalGas will also be the umbrella team for "Team Semper Fi-SoCalGas." Sergio Jimenez, a SoCalGas employee and retired Marine Corps veteran, created this team to rally support from his friends and family for HomeWalk 2015, after seeing the homeless problem every day on his commute to work.
"The team is composed of Marine veterans who have fought in the Gulf War, and Iraq/Afghanistan campaigns, family members, and average Americans who believe it is unacceptable for even one veteran to be homeless in Los Angeles, and in any city in the most prosperous and generous country on earth," said Jimenez.
Additionally, Beastin Beauties, a fitness studio in El Monte committed to motivating women to reach their health and fitness goals in the San Gabriel Valley and neighboring cities, is also part of Team SoCalGas and will lead the opening HomeWalk program with the warm-up.
"I am proud to have led the efforts for two of Team SoCalGas' largest events, including this year's HomeWalk and the Special Olympics World Games this past summer, where we had over 1,900 'Fans in the Stands' at the Galen Center," added Claudia Andrade, community relations manager and Team SoCalGas lead. "We will have the Explosive All Star Team Dazzle, a local Special Olympics girls' cheer team, join us at HomeWalk to help bring back memories from that special day. I am passionate about the work we do to help better the communities where we work and live."
HomeWalk is the United Way of Greater Los Angeles' signature 5K walk/fun run that mobilizes thousands of people to raise awareness and funds to end homelessness in Los Angeles County. Over the past eight years, 63,000 walkers have come together to raise more than $5 million. 100% of the proceeds from HomeWalk go back into the community, housing 15,900 people since its inception. To learn more go to Homewalk.unitedwayla.org
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.4 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. Southern California Gas Co. is a regulated subsidiary of sempra.com (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.