After 24 years, mortgage giant Fannie Mae will no longer host its popular Help the Homeless Walk the Saturday before Thanksgiving on the National Mall.
Instead, it opted for a series of mini-walks in smaller communities, including in Bethesda, where homeless prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares will host a Help the Homeless Walk on Oct. 14 at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School outdoor track.
“It’s supposed to put the focus on the local level so more things are being done and more steps are being taken right here in our community,” said Bethesda Cares Executive Director Susan Kirk.
The Help the Homeless program raises money to support organizations like Bethesda Cares, which provides eviction prevention, a meal program, clothing closet, and psychological services to homeless and working poor people in Bethesda and Montgomery County from its facility at 7728 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda Cares is hoping to raise $500 in donations through registration fees for the event, which begins at 1 p.m. Participants can register up to 12:15 p.m. on the day of the Walk.
Kirk said there were 71 homeless people in the Bethesda area at last count. Bethesda Cares conducts its own outreach surveys a few times throughout the year to determine how many homeless people are in Bethesda and to connect those people, some of whom are medically vulnerable, with services.
They also rely on more than 500 volunteers.
“Our name certainly holds true. We get great support from the Chamber of Commerce, the BUP, the Regional Services Center, the schools,” Kirk said. “So I think people do get it and realize that all of us together are making an impact.”
To register for the event, visit the Bethesda Community Walk website.
Flickr photo by OFA-MD