LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will have the largest team for the fourth year in a row at United Way's HomeWalk, an event that raises money and awareness to end homelessness in Los Angeles County. Organizers expect a sea of SoCalGas blue T-shirts when more than 1,300 "Team SoCalGas" participants take part in the 5K Fun Run/Walk starting on Sat. Nov.19 at 8:45 a.m. at Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles. Team SoCalGas has also raised more than $151,000 in contributions to help United Way and its network of agencies find permanent, supportive housing for homeless individuals and families.
Los Angeles County has one of the highest numbers of homeless individuals in the nation where nearly 47,000 are homeless including more than 3,000 veterans.
"I'm so proud of our employees, their families and friends and our partners for their commitment to become part of the solution to help eliminate homelessness in our region," said Dennis Arriola, Chairman 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 ending homelessness. Our employees see it in their daily activities and many have first-hand knowledge of homelessness in their communities. Every year our participation has grown and that's due to the hard work of SoCalGas employees who put their heart into everything they do."
This is the tenth year that SoCalGas employees, along with their family and friends, have supported HomeWalk and the fourth consecutive year that Team SoCalGas has had more walkers and runners than any other team at HomeWalk. The team has also raised the most money of any of the other teams at this year's event.
"We want to thank Team SoCalGas for their tremendous enthusiasm and support and being a shining example to other corporations," said Elise Buik, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater 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 Angelenos by eradicating homelessness."
Additionally, Beastin Beauties, a fitness studio in El Monte, is also part of Team SoCalGas and will also lead the opening HomeWalk program with the warm-up.
Laura Lopez is a SoCalGas employee who works as a technical advisor in SoCalGas' project management and construction. She is part of Team SoCalGas and also a "HomeWalk Hero," having raised more than $500 on her own.
"I walk because I want to help the men and women who bravely served our country but are now homeless," said Lopez. "My dad is a veteran who served in Vietnam and built barracks for the troops. I think it's interesting that it has come full circle and now I'm helping to house the people who served our country, just like my dad did when he was in the service."
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 ten years, 75,000 walkers have come together to raise more than $6.5 million. 100% of the proceeds from HomeWalk go back into the community, housing 17,000 people since its inception.
About Southern California Gas Company
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 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. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.