Walkathon Benefits Coalition for the Homeless

Hotel Voice — November 25, 2019

Here are some of the participants in the 2019 Hotel Workers Walkathon.

The 28th annual Hotel Workers Walkathon, held on Sunday, September 29, drew hundreds of participants to raise money for the Coalition for the Homeless. It was a great day for all, as members and their families gathered at the Roosevelt Hotel for a complimentary breakfast to kick off the event. As always, it was a fun-filled effort to benefit a worthy cause: The New York City Coalition for the Homeless. 

It is indeed a worthy cause. For more than 35 years, the Coalition for the Homeless has developed and implemented humane, cost-effective solutions to New York’s homelessness crisis, benefiting untold thousands in need..  

It’s no secret that homelessness is a huge problem in New York City. In fact, in recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

The month before the Walkathon there were 61,674 homeless people, including 14,806 homeless families with 21,802 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York Citymunicipal shelter system. Families make up more than two-thirds of the homeless shelter population, and the number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping each night in municipal shelters is now 63 percent higher than it was ten years ago. There have been similar increases in the number of homeless sleeping on the streets, in the subways and in other public spaces. 

Those who attended the Walkathon had an opportunity to learn more about the homeless crisis. They learned, for example, that research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions. “I learned so much about homelessness at the Walkathon, things I never knew, and it made me so glad we were raising money for the Coalition for the Homeless,” said Alfred Daos, one of the members who attended. 

Following a complimentary breakfast at the Roosevelt the walkers toured a route of midtown hotels, raising money for the Coalition for the Homeless at each stop they made. There were dozens of participating hotels along the route, and all of them not only helped sponsor the event they also provided refreshments along the way. The Hotel Association, the Hotel Trades Council and Local 6 also made contributions on behalf of the walkers.  

Past Walkathons have raised a total of almost $1 million for various worthy causes and more will be added to that total from this year’s walk, and will be donated to the Coalition for the Homeless.  

“We express sincere appreciation to all of our members, retirees and their families who took the time to participate in this year’s Walkathon,” Hotel Trades Council President Peter Ward said. “Homelessness is a huge problem in our city and the Coalition for the Homeless does more than any onth organization to address this very serious problem. This non-profit has an exceptional track record that makes it an institution that greatly deserves our support. We thank all of those who provided that support by participating in this year’s Walkathon.”