Friendship Place to Host Annual Walk on National Mall to End Homelessness
Event Centers on Youth Homelessness with Special Focus on LGBTQ Youth
Washington, DC, Oct. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Saturday, November 3, hundreds of friends and families committed to fighting homelessness in our community will gather on the National Mall for the fourth annual Friendship Walks. All proceeds from the fun, family-friendly 1.5-mile walk will benefit Friendship Place, the premier provider of housing services for people experiencing homelessness in the Washington, DC region.
Friendship Walks 2018 will center on homelessness among youth. “Unaccompanied young people living on the street are at greater risk of experiencing drug addiction, trauma, suicide, sex-trafficking and other forms of exploitation,” says Jean-Michel Giraud, Friendship Place President and CEO. “Unless they are brought in, the trajectory of life for them is bleak.
Guest speakers at the Walk will place a particular focus on the stunning rate of homelessness among LGBTQ youth. Nationally, up to 40 percent of homeless youth receiving agency services identify as LGBTQ. “These are young people who are being forced out of their homes after coming out to family,” says Giraud. “We cannot allow them to be shut out from society for claiming who they are. With Friendship Walks, Friendship Place is saying, ‘We’re here for you and all people experiencing homelessness, and so is the community.’”
Two Friendship Place programs especially target youth and young adults who lack stable housing and connect them with the support they need to rebuild their lives. Youth Connect and Before Thirty programs are designed to provide comprehensive care and individualized case management to help them access housing and employment services. Staff provide them with opportunities to achieve stability, and empower them to change the trajectory of their future.
In 2018 Friendship Place has ended or prevented homelessness for more than 1,500 people in the Washington region through creative, customized housing solutions. And the annual Friendship Walks is a big part of that success: Since 2014 the event has raised more than a half million dollars to help people in our area leave homelessness for housing.
But there is still work to be done, and Friendship Place is counting on the help the community to meet the urgent need in our area. All donations and fundraising dollars will allow the organization to help individuals and families—many of whom are sleeping in cars, in shelters, or on the street—find stable housing and a path back to stability.
Friendship Walks participants will be gathering on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 9:30 AM for registration and activities. Walking begins immediately following remarks from special guests at 10:30 AM.
To learn more about Friendship Walks, visit friendshipwalks.org.
About Friendship Place
Friendship Place is a leader in Washington, DC, in developing solutions to homelessness that have demonstrable results and a lasting impact. Our innovative, customized, person-focused programs empower participants to rebuild their lives, find homes, get jobs and reconnect with friends, family and the community, permanently. Our goal is to end homelessness in Washington, DC, and to lead the way in modeling how this can be done in other parts of the country.
Contact: Yimka Odebode
Assistant Director of Media, Marketing & Communications