|HUD No. 00-343|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Thursday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||December 7, 2000|
HUD LAUNCHES MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA
LOS ANGELES In a city where famous faces are seen everyday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today unveiled 18 star-filled public service announcements as part of its Put a Face on Homelessness media campaign. The campaign is part of HUDs on-going effort to highlight the plight of the nations homeless and encourage more Americans to become involved in helping them turn their lives around.
Actors Harry Belafonte, Daniel Stern, Caroline Rhea, Joe Pantoliano and Blythe Danner joined HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo for the Los Angeles premiere of the PSAs during HUDs second annual December to Remember event. Other dignitaries attending the event included Nancy Daly Riordan, wife of Mayor Richard Riordan; Robert Walker, Vice President, Council for Excellence in Government; James Hahn, Los Angeles City Attorney; Donna Estes Antebi, Chair of COACH, Community Outreach Assistance for Childrens Health; Irena Metavoy, Executive Vice Chair of COACH, and Ruth Schwartz, Executive Director, Shelter Partnership, Inc.HUDs December to Remember event encourages the private sector, nonprofits and individuals to make the last month of the year a December to Remember by committing to help homeless people through donations, volunteering, mentoring, or other service-related activities."Though we do not always see them, every night some 600,000 Americans too many of our nations adults and children -- are homeless," Cuomo said. "As our economy has surged, the homeless have faded from the public eye. We cant stand by and let this happen. Just last year we released a report that concluded when homeless people get housing assistance and other support services, the majority of them are able to once again lead productive lives. Intervention is the key to turning their lives around.""We are too great a nation to let this sad situation continue," performer Harry Belafonte said. "Homeless people are locked out of Americas prosperity. Now that we have the key, we must find the will to use it." "As someone who grew up in the suburbs of the nations capital, Ive become accustomed to seeing men, women -- and sometimes children -- who live their lives on the streets, for whom a nourishing meal, a comfortable bed and shelter from the elements is not a given," actor Daniel Stern said. "We can do better as a nation, and I commend HUD and Secretary Cuomo, as well as those at all other public and private organizations, who are working to help break the cycle of homelessness."HUDs Put a Face on Homelessness PSAs urge Americans to get involved by calling 1-800-HUD-1010, or by visiting HUDs website at www.hud.gov for a listing of homeless agencies in their communities in need of volunteers. The Ad Council is promoting the public service announcements this holiday season. In addition, the CBS television network and the Lifetime Channel have agreed to begin airing the public service announcements in coming weeks and through the winter. The PSAs will run in both 10-second and 30-second versions. In one version of the PSAs, the celebrity appearing says: "Many people recognize my face. But there are thousands of men, women and children who we walk past every day, but really never see. They are the invisible, the faceless, the homeless. Walking past them won't solve the problem. They need our help. This winter, put a face on homelessness. Call or go online to learn about an award-winning HUD program that's helping homeless people in your community."Cuomo thanked all those actors involved in making the PSAs, including Martin Sheen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth, Gillian Anderson, Harry Belafonte, Blythe Danner, Mandy Patinkin, Daniel Stern, Marlee Matlin, Kevin Kline, Caroline Rhea, Joe Pantoliano, William Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson, Glenn Close, Nathan Lane, Ray Romano and Matthew Broderick. Production of the PSAs is being funded by the Ford Foundation through the Council for Excellence in Government, which sponsors an annual competition to recognize outstanding government performance. HUDs Continuum of Care program won the prestigious Harvard University/Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Award in 1999.
At the event, participants recognized Secretary
Cuomo for his role in bringing to fruition HUDs award-winning Continuum
of Care homelessness program which is being implemented in communities
across the U.S. to help homeless people find housing, get jobs and rebuild
their lives. They also recognized the many homeless service organizations
working to end homelessness throughout the country.