Hundreds of people – including Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA Rams Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, NBC’s “This is Us” actor Jon Huertas, and United Way’s Elise Buik – gathered at Echo Park Lake to announce the launch of Everyone In, a powerful and diverse coalition of people fighting for the common goal of ending homelessness across Los Angeles County.
Powered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Everyone In will bring together leaders and voices within Los Angeles County philanthropy, business, labor, faith and community organizations to keep solutions to homelessness moving forward.
Specifically, Everyone In will:
- Create ways for the public to get involved. Everyone In will offer opportunities to learn more about the work that is happening across the county, volunteer, and train and organize people to advocate for approving supportive housing and other needed services in their own neighborhoods;
- Track, measure, and share progress. Everyone In will monitor Measure H and Proposition HHH funded programs and share both progress and challenges. This will include the goal of ending homelessness for 45,000, preventing homelessness for 30,000 and approving 5,000 units of supportive housing for our most vulnerable by July 1, 2022;
- Lift up successes and celebrate wins. Everyone In will celebrate progress and work to maintain the momentum and urgency it will take to finally end homelessness.
Everyone In pledges to track and measure progress so that the Measure H and Proposition HHH-funded programs remain on the path to success in the next decade. It is partnering with Los Angeles County and various city agencies to model and project progress in ways that will provide the public with a clearer picture of whether efforts are succeeding or falling short.
“A year ago, Los Angeles voters dug deep into their hearts and wallets to pass both Measure H and Proposition HHH, giving us unprecedented resources to tackle homelessness,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “Today, we are building on that momentum and issuing a call to action. We need all hands on deck – Everyone In – because we all have a part to play, as well as a moral imperative, to confront this humanitarian crisis.”
The recent call on L.A. City Council members to each recommend approval of at least 222 new supportive housing units in their districts within the next three years is an early example of the type of role Everyone In will play. United Way campaign set the benchmark and partnered with City Council President Herb Wesson, as well as other city council members, to supportive the initiative.
“There is only one way to end the homelessness crisis — together,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Everyone In is about opening our hearts to Angelenos in desperate need, our minds to innovative strategies to get people off the street, and our neighborhoods to supportive housing that will keep people healthy, safe, and in a home for good.”
The Everyone In launch included a rally with more than 500 supporters in Echo Park Lake, and debuted a new art installation: an oversized, 14-foot tall open door that depicts the cycles of homelessness and symbolizes the invitation for everyone to get involved in the solution. Created by local artist Rob Reynolds, the installation will tour throughout L.A. County in the coming months.
In the coming months, Everyone In will be connecting L.A.’s leaders in business, sports, arts, entertainment, and community to build a network of influential voices who are taking action to be part of the solution to end homelessness. A recent survey commissioned by United Way found that 69 percent of respondents countywide said they would back supportive housing in their own neighborhoods, and 56 percent said they favored solutions that addressed the root causes of homelessness, even if it takes a longer time. Everyone In seeks to engage and activate that silent majority.
“There’s a quote from the Buddha that a single candle can light a thousand others without diminishing itself,” said Homeless Initiative director Phil Ansell. “The launch of the Everyone In campaign will be a critical next step in continuing to grow the number of candles that are lit, and to increase the intensity of those burning candles as we work together to bring our homeless neighbors home.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, with Mayor Eric Garcetti and United Way’s Elise Buik gathered with a massive crowd to launch Everyone In. Photo by Henry Salazar/Board of Supervisors