LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Way of Greater Los Angeles hosted the 8th Annual HomeWalk to end homelessness, a 5k run and walk in Exposition Park in downtown. United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro addressed over 13,3000 runners and walkers. This year's top individual fundraiser was Chris Carey, of City National Bank, who individually raised over $20,000 and the top team was TCW, a corporate team that raised a historic $64,330. As of today, the event has already raised over $1.29 million.
With nearly 40,000 homeless men and women in Los Angeles County, of which over 10,000 are chronically homeless, United Way and its partners are working to drive community awareness and action as part of the organization's ongoing campaign to end homelessness. Over the past seven years, HomeWalk has mobilized nearly 50,000 walkers, raised over $4 million and will have moved 14,000 people off the streets and into permanent housing.
"Our communities continue to suffer in not just one area or neighborhood, but across the entire County. By mobilizing Angelenos today, we are raising the awareness and funds necessary to create pathways out of poverty and move our homeless neighbors into permanent housing," said Elise Buik, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "HomeWalk provides a platform for thousands of Angelenos to stand together to fight homelessness, a stand that is echoed by our public officials and the business community. I'm proud to say that, in the past year alone, United Way and its partners have housed nearly 7,000 chronic and veteran homeless individuals. Once in permanent supportive housing, people have an 85 percent chance of staying off the streets for good. This would not be possible without the support we have here today."
Homeless statistics in Los Angeles County:
- Nearly 40,000 people (39,461) are homeless are in Los Angeles County; that is one out of every 250 people
- Los Angeles has more homeless veterans (4,618) than any other city in the nation
- More than one-third of the homeless population in LA County are women and children; 1 in 5 children lives in poverty
- More than 10,000 of the homeless population is chronically homeless
- Nearly one-third (28%) of this population struggles with a severe mental illness
- 30% of this population have a chronic substance abuse issue
"We are grateful that Secretary Castro was here today to offer a national platform for this issue, and for the continued generosity of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which is matching all funds raised by our participants. This is also the fourth year that Kobe Bryant has helped us connect with even more people interested in fighting homelessness in our own backyards, and it's unfortunate that he was not able to be here this morning. With the support of advocates like Secretary Castro, the Hilton Foundation, the Bryants, our sponsors, public officials and Los Angeles County residents, we will continue to make a powerful impact in the fight against homelessness," continued Buik.
Today's event commenced in downtown Los Angeles' Exposition Park with elected officials, celebrities, athletes and thousands of participants beginning the Walk near Exposition Boulevard, and ending on Figueroa Street. Los Angeles indie rock band Terraplane Sun, provided a live concert for all participants as they finished the 5k run and walk.
The epidemic of homelessness in Los Angeles County is one of United Way's core priorities in its efforts to create pathways out of poverty. HomeWalk is part of United Way's work to raise the 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.
Each year, United Way of Greater Los Angeles hosts the annual HomeWalk to end homelessness, a 5k run and walk in Exposition Park in downtown Los Angeles. With nearly 40,000 homeless men and women in Los Angeles County, over one-quarter of whom are chronically homeless, United Way and its partners are working to drive community awareness and action as part of the organization's ongoing efforts to end homelessness. Over the past seven years, HomeWalk has mobilized nearly 50,000 walkers, raised over $4 million and will have moved 14,500 people off the streets and into permanent housing. For more information, visit homewalkla.org.
SOURCE United Way of Greater Los Angeles