By Alex Cordero
Cold weather and rain did not stop local residents, charity organizations and celebrities from participating in the World’s Big Sleep Out, a global charity event to end homelessness, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena this past Saturday.
Charity On Top was the leading charity organization hosting the event at the Rose Bowl representing the Los Angeles area for the global event.
The World’s Big Sleep out had major participating cities all around the world including New York; London, England; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and San Jose, Costa Rica, just to name a few.
Fifty percent of the money raised at the Los Angeles event went to support local organizations helping ones in need of shelter and the other 50% was donated to support people in need of a safe place to live around the world.
There were several organizations and charities set up for attendees to obtain more information regarding their efforts and work fighting to end homelessness in the LA County area.
One organization educating Sleep Out participants about its work assisting people in need of a safe place to live in the local community was Pasadena’s Union Station Homeless Services.
With over 45 years of experience, Union Station continues to be a strong leader in helping diminish the number of people calling the streets of Pasadena home.
One great example of their work is their Pasadena Partnership program. The partnership is led by a Board of Directors from the Pasadena community. This program is the lead agency for the Pasadena Continuum of Care (CoC), a planning process enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 1994.
The Pasadena Partnership focuses on planning to end homelessness in the community, develops community-wide strategies, coordinates local organizations and initiatives that support common efforts to provide safe shelter for those in need, and much more.
The Pasadena Partnership has also turned their focus towards ensuring the use of their emergency shelter services fall more in line with the City of Pasadena’s efforts to become a housing-first model city.
The approach appears to be working. As per a 2019 Pasadena Survey, the homeless rate has dropped 20% in the city since 2018.
Another organization that has been making a difference all across the San Gabriel Valley and other areas in California is Everyone In United Way.
It was nice to see a familiar face as Teresa Eilers, field organizer for Everyone In, was there attending the Everyone In United Way booth along with a local volunteer promoting the Everyone In campaign.
This organization is a community movement to end the homelessness crisis across Los Angeles County and is achieving it by getting nonprofit organizations, businesses, service providers, and faith and community leaders to work together in their respective local communities to end homelessness and change the narrative about our neighbors in need of safe shelter.
The accomplishments this campaign has been able to achieve since their launch in 2018 has been remarkable. According to the Everyone In campaign, 6,400 supportive housing units have been approved, 1,800 supportive housing units are under construction, 120 organizations have endorsed Everyone In, and 80 community meetings — and counting — were held to encourage everyone to do their part and contribute to end the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles.
The World’s Big Sleep out also featured live entertainment for everyone in attendance. There were live performances by local blues band Riptide, Sean Kingston and Meghan Trainor, to name a few.
The night was cold and wet but that didn’t stop over 100 people from sleeping out at the Rose Bowl in solidarity. To find out about the next upcoming Sleep Out, or if you would like to host a Sleep Out to help raise funds for this great organization or simply donate, please visit BigSleepOut.com to obtain more details.