United Way of Greater Los Angeles (299043)
United Way of Greater Los Angeles Credit: United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the Los Angeles Rams are among the dozens of local companies and thousands of individuals who will join the United Way of Greater Los Angeles for the first-ever virtual HomeWalk – 5k Family Run/Walk/Ride to End Homelessness this Saturday, Nov. 14. Participants can walk, run or ride the 5K any time that day in their own neighborhoods or a location of their choice, and share photos and videos of their participation on social media using #HomeWalkatHome. A link to the registration page is located at HomeWalkLA.org.

SoCalGas employees, their families and business partners have participated in the annual HomeWalk event every year since its inception in 2007 and have raised over $2 million in total.

“The pandemic has magnified inequities in our communities, and it is crucial that we support those who are struggling—even though this year we will not be able to walk physically side by side,” said Sandra Hrna, vice president of human resources & diversity and inclusion at SoCalGas and board member at United Way of Greater LA. “Please sign up, walk the 5K wherever and whenever you choose, and donate to be a part of the effort to end homelessness via HomeWalk. Those struggling against homelessness need you now more than ever.”

Registration is $20.

“There were already far too many people experiencing homelessness prior to the start of the pandemic which has only further exacerbated the need for safe and affordable housing. Now more than ever, our most vulnerable neighbors, especially seniors and those suffering from severe chronic health conditions, are at even greater risk of exposure and death,” Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles said. “We are grateful for the support of SoCalGas and the many families who will join us as we gather together while apart to power the solutions bringing everyone in to end homelessness.”

“With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating homelessness — essentially creating a crisis within a crisis — we all need to do everything we can to help our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “With Homewalk At Home, people from all walks of life are not only standing up but stepping forward to tackle the moral crisis of our time. Thank you to SoCalGas and all other sponsors for shining a light on this issue and working together to find solutions.”

According to the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, homelessness starts rising when the median rent in a region exceeds 22 percent of median income and rises even more sharply at 32 percent. In Los Angeles, the median rent is 46.1 percent of median income. Nearly one-third of Los Angeles renter households pay more than half of their income on housing and nearly 600,000 county residents spend 90 percent or more of their income on housing.

Since 2007, HomeWalk has brought together more than 125,000 people from across Los Angeles County and raised over $9.5 million that have helped move over 20,000 people into homes.

SoCalGas and United Way of Greater LA encourage everyone to join in on the Nov. 14 virtual HomeWalk. Participants can spend the day doing their own 5K run, walk or ride and can share photos and videos of their participation on social media using #HomeWalkatHome.

Participants are asked to be in front of computer screens by 5 p.m. for a virtual program including live entertainment with the Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders, players, LA Rams coach Sean McVay, remarks from top sponsors including SoCalGas, heartfelt stories from formerly homeless neighbors and much more.

Find additional information at HomeWalkLA.org.