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Los Angeles residents launch campaign to raise funds for homeless
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14:34, November 18, 2007

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Hundreds of people took to the streets here Saturday to join a campaign to raise funds for the homeless, the first of its kind in the city.

The march, called Home Walk, was organized by United Way of Greater Los Angeles in partnership with the Fannie Mae Foundation's national Help the Homeless initiative.

The event was held simultaneously with similar marches aimed at raising awareness about homelessness in Washington D.C. and six other cities across the nation.

"Today marks a turning point in our effort to fight homelessness," said Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

"Home Walk is the cornerstone of our new initiative to move more people out of poverty by educating and engaging residents and business leaders on the solutions to homelessness in order to get families and individuals permanently off the streets and into supportive housing," she said.

"Today's support from L.A. county and the city's elected officials, along with neighboring communities, shows there is a public will to solve this critical issue," she added.

"The walk is a great opportunity for the people of Los Angeles County to galvanize their hearts and souls and to engage this issue of homelessness, perhaps one of the great moral issues in our nation," Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said.

"This is not a 90,000-person problem. This is a problem of one human being at a time, one homeless person sleeping on the street at a time. We need to engage each and every one of these individuals one at a time," he said.

The event raised more than half a million U.S. dollars, all of which will be used for helping the homeless, Buik said.

Los Angeles county has an estimated 73,000 homeless people sleeping outdoors every night.

Source: Xinhua

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