An ‘Army of Hope’: Advocates for ending homelessness come together in L.A. to create change

On Saturday, March 9, 2019, around 600 people descended upon Union Station in L.A. for Gather Everyone In 2019.

Their mission was clear: To help to bring an end to homelessness in Los Angeles.

Approximately 50,000 people are experiencing homelessness in and around L.A., according to the latest count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The vast majority of them live unsheltered on the streets.

The Los Angeles County has the second largest homeless population in the United States, in what L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has called “the moral and humanitarian crisis of our time”

The event on Saturday was organized by Everyone In, a non-profit organization powered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles with over 80,000 team members, whose focus is to end homelessness across Los Angeles County by providing critical services to those who need it most and helping transition people experiencing long-term homelessness with short-term and permanent housing solutions.

Tommy Newman, from Everyone In, writes: “We have many challenges in the struggle to end homelessness. Perhaps the most critical is to make sure L.A. doesn’t lose hope. Because it’s going to take more than a year or two to achieve our shared goals.

“It’s critical that everyone understands that while this work won’t happen overnight, we are headed in the right direction. We are making change. It needs to happen faster, and it can—if we continue to build our collective effort and resolve.

“And that is why we will keep speaking out, keep showing up, keep organizing day after day until we achieve the only outcome that makes any moral sense: A home for everyone who needs one.

“That’s our promise. That’s what it means when we say Everyone In.”

People assembling home and bath kits at St. Joseph Center in Venice.
…and PATH Headquarters in Central L.A.
Volunteers at HOPICS in South L.A.
SSG HOPICS Outreach Manager Toni White…
United Way of Greater L.A. CEO and President Elise Buik, who said: “We know that housing saves lives. We know that everyone deserves a home. And that’s what this campaign is about.”
Everyone In Deputy Director of Organizing Gabriela Garcia reminded us that the progress we’re making isn’t a matter of statistics for the individuals who have been able to secure housing—homelessness can feel overwhelming, but ending it happens one person at a time.

To learn more about Everyone In, or to volunteer, click HERE.


Article by melissa

Melissa Myers is a trained journalist working in London and New York. She worked for national newspapers in the U.K. as a celebrity journalist and was the News Director of In Touch magazine in the U.S. In 2017, she focused on making a difference in the world and launched her website Melissa also builds websites for various clientele and runs social media campaigns for non-profits.