“Amidst the COVID-19 crisis LA Family Housing remains open and committed to supporting our homeless neighbors,” Bellisario said in a post to her 12.6 million followers. “But we can’t do it alone. You can help provide meals, supply disease prevention items [and] equip our outreach team. Donate today.”
Sports Illustrated model Hunter McGrady did the same. “The homeless population’s weakened immune systems and lack of hygiene facilities put them at a greater risk during this time,” she wrote on Instagram. “If you can, please donate!!”
LAFH, formed in 1988, aims to help people transition out of homelessness through various programs. Its annual fundraising gala in April at the Pacific Design Center has been postponed until Oct. 22 because of the crisis. About 800 guests helped raise more than $2 million at last year’s benefit.
Warner Bros. Entertainment marketing chief Blair Rich has been a board member of LAFH for 11 years. She has been a homeless advocate since high school, cooking and serving meals to the homeless in Santa Monica. “Homelessness is the most urgent moral issue of our day, and sadly the next generation’s crisis to solve,” Rich told Variety in a statement. “In a city replete with wealth, 60,000 people are without shelter, 18,000 of them kids in LAUSD. Young Hollywood possess the ingenuity, determination and conviction to help galvanize people to get involved, and to inspire solutions and raise awareness of the reality that if we don’t address this issue, it is not only inhumane, but will impact the health of our city forever. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for people to want to protect our most vulnerable, but perhaps it will finally inspire broader activism that we desperately need.”
LAFH has implemented several changes to its programming to address coronavirus, including educational outreach on the street and providing hot meals, as well as laptops to families with children.