Earlier this year, Clyde Miller was living in New Jersey when he picked up a copy of the New York Times and began reading a story about a program to end homelessness for veterans across the country. He recalls a graphic showing California with some of the highest rates of homelessness for vets compared to other states.
A few months later, Miller took a job as director of Corporate Security at Southern California Edison (SCE). Seven months into his new job, he got a chance to help some of the homeless veterans in California he had read about.
Miller was one of 53 SCE and Edison International employees, friends and family members who volunteered as part of “Team Edison” to walk or run in the United Way of Greater Los Angeles HomeWalk, a 5K run/walk to end homelessness.
“I saw this initiative and thought it was worthwhile. Helping homeless veterans is an initiative I am familiar with,” he said. “I felt like this was an opportunity to help the homeless and we should take advantage of it.”
Video Credit: Joseph Foulk and Nicholas Roy
Over the past seven years, HomeWalk has mobilized 50,000 walkers and raised $4 million to move 14,500 people into permanent housing in Los Angeles, which has the second-highest homeless rate in the country. This year, 13,300 participants took part in the walk and raised almost $1.3 million.
Edison International, parent company of SCE, has been a major sponsor of the walk since 2011 and this year contributed $25,000. Edison employees were also invited to raise funds and participate in the event by walking or running.
“Giving back is a proud tradition we have at Edison,” said Janet Clayton, senior vice president of Corporate Communications at Edison International and SCE. “United Way of Greater L.A. is one of those nonprofit partners that Edison and its employees have supported over the years and it feels good to give back and do our part to help end homelessness.”
When Miller goes out for his morning runs in Pasadena, he often sees the homeless who live around his neighboring streets. He’s not sure if they are all veterans, but he thinks some could be.
A few days before the HomeWalk, he decided to reach out to his contacts back in New Jersey. It was a chance to update them on his move to California and ask his friends and former colleagues to support the event with a donation.
Miller managed to raise $1,200 which was matched by the Conrad Hilton Foundation.
“Because I recently came to work for SCE and relocated across the country, my approach was to take my contact list and send everyone an email telling them I was participating in the walk and asking them for a donation,” he said. “And in return, they got my new contact information.”
Miller said he looks forward to participating in HomeWalk again next year.
“This is the first walk in which I’ve participated and it was a lot of fun,” he said. “I will probably walk again next year.”