SleepOut LA raises $50,000 to combat homelessness

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By Robert Brennan –

SleepOutLA 2Ever wonder what it must be like to be homeless? On June 30, supporters of The Salvation Army’s Southern California Division got a sense when they participated in SleepOut LA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Salvation Army board members, volunteers, officers and staff spent a night sleeping on cardboard on the floor of one of the Rose Bowl’s locker rooms. They ate a dinner of sandwiches and chips and an even more Spartan breakfast to simulate what many living on the streets of Los Angeles experience each night.

SleepOut LA’s goals were to raise awareness about the issue and solicit support from friends, family and business associates. The event raised over $50,000 to benefit the Southern California’s Division’s homeless programs.

The most recent government count of the homeless population in the County of Los Angeles tallied more than 40,000 people. While the $50,000 may not be a solution to the problem, participants agreed it was a step in the right direction.

“Each night, 2,676 people sleep under a Salvation Army roof,” said Lt. Col. Kyle Smith, divisional commander of The Salvation Army’s Southern California Division. “With SleepOut LA, we have shown that people with means want to help those in need and we will continue to advocate for the marginalized and through more public support, put even more people under our care and on the road to new lives.”

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