Thousands Gather on the National Mall to Prevent and End Homelessness


WASHINGTON, DC – November 22, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Today more than 15,000 walkers joined together on the National Mall to participate in Fannie Mae’s 23rd Annual Help the Homeless Walkathon, raising awareness and funds to prevent and end homelessness.

Since 1988 the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Program — the largest of its kind — has raised more than $80 million, increased awareness about homelessness, and helped hundreds of organizations in the greater Washington, DC region provide support to the area’s homeless population and work towards long-term solutions.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, (D-DC), Actor and Entertainer Jermaine Crawford of HBO’s The Wire, Fannie Mae President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Williams, and other community leaders kicked-off the Walkathon in Washington, DC. This year, 118 organizations that are focused on the needs of the homeless community are beneficiaries of the walk.

“On any given night, almost 660,000 people are homeless in this country,” said Michael J. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae. “Every person walking today is sending a message. We are saying that we have neighbors in need, we care about them, and we want to do something to help.”

This year’s Help the Homeless Program featured Fannie Mae’s partnership with Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT), recipient of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. As a result of that partnership, the YPT created a play — “The Good Neighbor” — to raise awareness about homelessness and efforts to create permanent supportive housing.

Following the walk, participants were invited to a free performance of “The Good Neighbor” at the Smithsonian Discovery Theater. The play also will be performed for more than 5,000 people at schools, hospitals and community centers throughout greater Washington.

Last year, the Help the Homeless Program raised $5.8 million and engaged more than 117,000 people in the Washington metro region, who took part in over 650 Mini-Walks in schools, community centers and places of worship.

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Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

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