Fannie Mae's Annual Effort Mobilizes Community to Help Prevent and End Homelessness
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Fannie Mae announced the results of its 22nd annual Help the Homeless Program, the nation's largest fund-raising effort focused on homelessness. In 2009, the D.C. metropolitan area came together to raise $5.8 million for 134 regional non-profit organizations serving people who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. More than 117,000 people raised funds through the Help the Homeless Walkathon on the National Mall, 657 community Mini-Walks, corporate sponsorships, and related activities.
"We are proud of the effort our employees, partners and neighbors have undertaken in addressing homelessness in our own backyard," said Michael J. Williams, President and CEO of Fannie Mae. "The greater-Washington community has a reputation for coming together in times of need and, once again, they truly rose to the occasion."
In 2009, funds raised through the Help the Homeless Program enabled community organizations to serve the homeless and people at risk of becoming homeless by providing emergency care and shelter or creating permanent supportive housing. In 2009, the Help the Homeless Program supported the creation or preservation of more than 2,500 supportive housing units.
"Last year we were more reliant than ever on the Help the Homeless Program. There are people we supported and we housed whom we could not have helped if not for the program," said Jean-Michel Giraud, Executive Director of Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place and member of the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness. "With the economy in crisis, there are more people in need and fewer dollars available to help support them. That extra layer of flexible funding is really key, not just to Friendship Place, but to the entire homeless services community in D.C."
Even in the midst of difficult economic times, the Help the Homeless Program produced significant increases in community participation in 2009. Over 100,000 people participated in the Mini-Walk program, which invites schools, community-based organizations and faith-based organizations to host small walkathons, representing a 20 percent increase from 2008. Over 6,000 Fannie Mae employees and their guests were part of the over 17,000 total walkers on the National Mall. And more dollars were raised thanks to the increased number of sponsors, donors and walkers.
Highlights of the 2009 Help the Homeless Program outcomes include:
New Hope Housing, Alexandria, VA, raised more than $122,000 from the Help the Homeless Program, making it one of the most successful Help the Homeless beneficiaries. New Hope Housing provided emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and supportive services to more than 1,300 men, women and families in 2009.
- Community Council at Friendship Place, Washington, DC, raised more than $65,000 from the Help the Homeless Program. Program funds helped to provide 108 units of housing to 126 men and women in 2009, in addition to supportive services to 549 men and women such as food and medical care.
- Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Montgomery County, MD, raised more than $70,000 from the Help the Homeless Program to support its provision of emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing for the homeless. In 2009 they provided 326 units to 704 men, women, and families and their emergency shelter served 945 men.
More than 12,000 people in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are homeless; more than 40 percent are members of families and roughly one-third are children, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. A person is homeless if they are living on the streets, staying in shelters, or living in transitional housing. Nearly one-third of the region's homeless adults are employed, and in some areas, the share of employed homeless people is even higher.
Founded by Fannie Mae in 1988, the Help the Homeless Program has grown into the nation's largest fund-raising effort focused on preventing and ending homelessness and has raised more than $80 million to date.
This year's Help the Homeless Walkathon will be held on the National Mall on Saturday, November 20, 2010. The application process for nonprofits to apply for the 2010 Help the Homeless Program will open up in the spring and will be available on the Web site, www.helpthehomelessdc.org.