Homeless Walkathon in Washington, DC draws 20,000 FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 20:27:19 -0400


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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/22/201l-112298-idx.html
FWD  Washington Post - Sunday, November 22, 1998; Page B03

20,000 POUND PAVEMENT TO HELP HOMELESS

Three-Mile Walk on the Mall Draws Attention
and Funds to a Universal Problem

By Michael H. Cottman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Julie Goodale stepped into the crush of humanity on the Mall yesterday and
strolled shoulder-to-shoulder with a parade of sign-carrying,
sweat-shirt-clad advocates for the homeless -- all taking a three-mile walk.

Despite the morning chill, the 11th annual Help the Homeless Walkathon drew
a record crowd of 20,000 participants. The walkers were young and old,
black, white and Latino. Many were mothers and fathers pushing toddlers in
strollers or carrying babies in backpacks.

"For me, it's the kids that are important. That's why I'm here," said
Goodale, 29, who works for Northern Virginia Family Services, a Falls
Church agency whose clients include the homeless. "Children deserve a place
to live and food to eat."

The Help the Homeless Program, sponsored by the Fannie Mae Foundation, is
starting its second decade of raising funds to support participating
nonprofit agencies that provide services to the region's homeless.

The groups supported by Fannie Mae include those that provide basic shelter
for the homeless, such as abused women and children, and those that offer
preschool classes for children, scholastic mentoring, rehabilitation from
drug addictions and job training.

Gary Wilcox, 34, a member of St. Paul Temple Church of God and Christ in
Northeast Washington, brought 22 people with him for the event.

"Homelessness is one of the most challenging issues in our community,"
Wilcox said as he walked across the Mall, holding the hand of his
6-year-old daughter, Courtney. "We just wanted to be here to offer our
support."

"I'm here to support women and babies," said Beth Evans, assistant director
of Healthy Babies in Northeast Washington, an agency created to help reduce
the rate of infant mortality in the District. About 45 percent of the women
her agency serves are homeless, she said.

There are more than 30,000 homeless people living in the Washington area --
2,000 of them children, of which 300 are younger than 1.

Since 1988, the Fannie Mae Foundation and 194 corporate partners have
raised about $6 million for the Help the Homeless Program. The money
benefits 153 Washington area nonprofit agencies.

Over the past 10 years, more than 45,000 individuals have participated in
the annual walk. This year, the fund-raising goal was $3 million.

D.C. Mayor-elect Anthony A. Williams, who was one of the walkers yesterday,
said he would have participated even if he had not been invited.

"One of the major challenges that confronts us is homelessness, and that's
why all of you should be proud . . . of the headway we are making in
addressing this basic human need," Williams told participants during a
downtown rally at Freedom Plaza.

"The issue of homelessness has been a challenge confronting our community
for a long time," said Ann Marie Wheelock, Fannie Mae Foundation president
and CEO. "We cannot shift our focus away from the problem."

Darrell Green, a 16-year veteran of the Washington Redskins who started the
Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation and is co-chairman of the walkathon,
said: "I'm out here not because I wear number 28 on my chest, but because
I'm a human being. I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I'm a son, I'm a brother.

"There are 30,000 people in this community who are homeless," Green told
walkers at the rally. "We're standing in somebody's living room right now;
we're in somebody's bedroom right now. With the leadership of the Fannie
Mae Foundation, we can put a roof over this living room and over this
bedroom."

Susan Callaway, director of developments for the Community Council for the
Homeless at Friendship Place in Northwest Washington, said the agency was
created because residents wanted to help the homeless.

"Social workers come and go, but neighborhood volunteers stay and create
communities and try to permanently solve the problem of homelessness," she
said.

Gregory Hill, a 45-year-old poet, has been homeless off and on for about 10
years. Today, however, Hill has a roof over his head, is working on a book,
takes creative-writing courses, works with other poets and helps homeless
people find shelter.

"I used to play a flute for [handouts]," said Hill, a tall man with long
dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail. "But I'm moving along now. I took the
long road."

END FORWARD
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** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
ARCHIVES  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/22/201l-112298-idx.html

FWD  Washington Post - Sunday, November 22, 1998; Page B03


<paraindent><param>right,left</param>20,000 POUND PAVEMENT TO HELP
HOMELESS


Three-Mile Walk on the Mall Draws Attention

and Funds to a Universal Problem


By Michael H. Cottman

Washington Post Staff Writer

</paraindent>

Julie Goodale stepped into the crush of humanity on the Mall yesterday
and strolled shoulder-to-shoulder with a parade of sign-carrying,
sweat-shirt-clad advocates for the homeless -- all taking a three-mile
walk.


Despite the morning chill, the 11th annual Help the Homeless Walkathon
drew a record crowd of 20,000 participants. The walkers were young and
old, black, white and Latino. Many were mothers and fathers pushing
toddlers in strollers or carrying babies in backpacks.


"For me, it's the kids that are important. That's why I'm here," said
Goodale, 29, who works for Northern Virginia Family Services, a Falls
Church agency whose clients include the homeless. "Children deserve a
place to live and food to eat."


The Help the Homeless Program, sponsored by the Fannie Mae Foundation,
is starting its second decade of raising funds to support participating
nonprofit agencies that provide services to the region's homeless.


The groups supported by Fannie Mae include those that provide basic
shelter for the homeless, such as abused women and children, and those
that offer preschool classes for children, scholastic mentoring,
rehabilitation from drug addictions and job training.


Gary Wilcox, 34, a member of St. Paul Temple Church of God and Christ
in Northeast Washington, brought 22 people with him for the event.


"Homelessness is one of the most challenging issues in our community,"
Wilcox said as he walked across the Mall, holding the hand of his
6-year-old daughter, Courtney. "We just wanted to be here to offer our
support."


"I'm here to support women and babies," said Beth Evans, assistant
director of Healthy Babies in Northeast Washington, an agency created
to help reduce the rate of infant mortality in the District. About 45
percent of the women her agency serves are homeless, she said.


There are more than 30,000 homeless people living in the Washington
area -- 2,000 of them children, of which 300 are younger than 1. 


Since 1988, the Fannie Mae Foundation and 194 corporate partners have
raised about $6 million for the Help the Homeless Program. The money
benefits 153 Washington area nonprofit agencies.


Over the past 10 years, more than 45,000 individuals have participated
in the annual walk. This year, the fund-raising goal was $3 million.


D.C. Mayor-elect Anthony A. Williams, who was one of the walkers
yesterday, said he would have participated even if he had not been
invited.


"One of the major challenges that confronts us is homelessness, and
that's why all of you should be proud . . . of the headway we are
making in addressing this basic human need," Williams told participants
during a downtown rally at Freedom Plaza.


"The issue of homelessness has been a challenge confronting our
community for a long time," said Ann Marie Wheelock, Fannie Mae
Foundation president and CEO. "We cannot shift our focus away from the
problem."


Darrell Green, a 16-year veteran of the Washington Redskins who started
the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation and is co-chairman of the
walkathon, said: "I'm out here not because I wear number 28 on my
chest, but because I'm a human being. I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I'm a
son, I'm a brother. 


"There are 30,000 people in this community who are homeless," Green
told walkers at the rally. "We're standing in somebody's living room
right now; we're in somebody's bedroom right now. With the leadership
of the Fannie Mae Foundation, we can put a roof over this living room
and over this bedroom."


Susan Callaway, director of developments for the Community Council for
the Homeless at Friendship Place in Northwest Washington, said the
agency was created because residents wanted to help the homeless.


"Social workers come and go, but neighborhood volunteers stay and
create communities and try to permanently solve the problem of
homelessness," she said.


Gregory Hill, a 45-year-old poet, has been homeless off and on for
about 10 years. Today, however, Hill has a roof over his head, is
working on a book, takes creative-writing courses, works with other
poets and helps homeless people find shelter.


"I used to play a flute for [handouts]," said Hill, a tall man with
long dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail. "But I'm moving along now. I
took the long road."


END FORWARD

-





 



** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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