NORTH HOLLYWOOD — A special event for families and foster children comes up Sunday, October 8th, packed with low-cost fun for children and adults. The Village Family Services (The Village) presents its inaugural, “Take On The Streets”, 2K Walk and Family Festival in North Hollywood Park (Magnolia & Tujunga), supporting direct services for foster & homeless youth. This community event will be presented by Wells Fargo Bank. The Johnny Carson Foundation will be sponsoring the community festival, with the 2K walk sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
“The event is designed to bring together the community to assist the thousands of children and youth who call the streets home every night,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian. “There’s been a disturbing rise in homelessness in Los Angeles with Valley neighborhoods experiencing as much as a 25 percent increase. Young people 18 through 24 are the fastest growing group of homeless people, up 64%, while children under 18, and without a home, grew 41%.”
In August, the LA Daily News reported a 23% surge in this year’s homeless numbers across Los Angeles County, based on the annual homeless count by the LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
“The results of the latest homeless counts show the growing need to not only provide the necessary support to a growing homeless population, but find ways to prevent youth and families from falling into chronic homelessness,” Krekorian said. “That’s why organizations like The Village Family Services are so crucial to our community.”
In additional to placing hundreds of foster children with loving homes each year, The Village also operates a Drop-in Center serving over 700 homeless & at-risk youth in North Hollywood, by providing meals, showers, clean clothing, safe housing, educational assistance, job training & placement, and much needed mental health services.
Board Member and LA Valley College President, Dr. Erika Endrijonas, said, “The Village’s mission, in everything we do, is to create a consistent safety net of support for these youth where there was none before. However, the responsibility of leading these children into independent adulthood cannot be ours alone; we hope to engage all aspects of the community and build a bigger “village” capable of transforming lives.”
New LAUSD School Board Member, Kelly Gonez, was eager for the opportunity to address this growing issue, saying, “I am pleased to support this event – and in fact I plan to participate in the walk myself! I hope others will join me in supporting the mission to help homeless youth during this event and throughout the year. It will take all of us working together to ensure even our most vulnerable can achieve their potential.”
Event organizers are asking families and participants to arrive at the park by 9am, with the former homeless youth and special guests speaking at 9:30am. All registered children and adults can enjoy festival activities, such as the animal petting zoo, inflatable obstacle course, bounce house, climbing wall, face painting, book giveaway, and more!
Pre-Registration & event details can be found online at: www.TakeOnTheStreets.com
Children under 10 are registered free by donating a book for a foster child; Youth 11-17 are registered free by signing a pledge to commit to a community service activity of their choice during the school year. Adults can pre-register online for $20 pay $25 the day of the event.