Saturday was the United Way’s 10th annual HomeWalk. Every year, I have found an excuse to not participate. This year, I had a feeling that I would not be able to get away with having the ‘stomach bug’ yet again, so I set my alarm for 6AM (ON A SATURDAY) and forced myself into my running shoes.
When I arrived at HomeWalk, Grand Park was filled with homeless service agencies and their employees, coffee, donuts, and TV celebs Zumba-ing on stage. But more importantly, Grand Park was filled with community members whose 9-5 jobs have absolutely nothing to do with homelessness. 15,000 community members whose 9-5 jobs have absolutely nothing to do with homelessness.
Walking through the crowd, I started to cry. (Then I tried to hide because I didn’t want people to think that I was sad at HomeWalk.) I was incredibly humbled. When you are facing a problem as large as our current homelessness crisis, it is easy to get discouraged. In Los Angeles county, we have over 44,000 people experiencing homelessness. How can we look at this and seriously believe that we can create positive change?
Saturday reminded me that we are not in this fight alone. Our neighbors and community members care that we are facing a huge homelessness epidemic and that Our City wants to be involved. Thank you for the reminder that I am not expected to be the solution to homelessness. The Center at Blessed Sacrament is not expected to be the answer. No one agency can look at a situation as large and complex as our homeless population and provide the solution. But as a community, marching together towards a single goal, we can accomplish anything.
This year, The United Way of Greater Los Angeles raised over 1 million dollars at HomeWalk. In the past, The Center at Blessed Sacrament has received funds through the United Was as part of a coordinated effort to end homelessness in our city.