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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Foundation Hosts Help the Homeless Walkathon

Thousands of walkers from the Washington metropolitan area converged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., today, for the 19th Annual Fannie Mae Foundation Help the Homeless Walkathon. The annual walkathon is the largest event of its kind in the
nation geared to help prevent and end homelessness, and is the cornerstone of the Fannie Mae Foundation Help the Homeless Program.

Fannie Mae Foundation President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart; Foundation Chairman and Fannie Mae President and CEO Daniel Mudd; and Help the Homeless Walkathon Honorary Chair singer and songwriter Jewel kicked off the 5K Walkathon.

"On any given day, more than 12,000 people in the Washington metropolitan area are homeless," Stewart says. "Today, Washington-area residents demonstrated their commitment to end homelessness in the nation's capital and its surrounding area by participating in the Help the Homeless Walkathon."

The number of homeless people in the Washington area includes those staying in shelters or living in transitional housing, and people living on the streets. More than 40 percent are in families and approximately one-third are children. "Street homelessness" is the image commonly presented to portray homelessness. Yet, less than 13 percent of the homeless people in the Washington metropolitan area regularly live on the streets. In addition, nearly a third of the region's homeless adults are
employed; in some areas, the share of employed homeless people is even higher. In Fairfax/Falls Church, Va., for example, nearly half of all homeless adults in families are employed.

"I have always enjoyed raising awareness of worthy causes and the Help the Homeless Program certainly is one," says Help the Homeless Honorary Chair Jewel. "Seeing all these people come together on behalf of organizations that work with Washington-area homeless families and individuals is great, and I'm proud to be a part of it."

In addition to the Walkathon, the Help the Homeless Program includes mini- walks. Mini-walks are hosted by local schools, community-based organizations, and faith-based groups, and all of the funds raised by walkers are donated to the local beneficiary organizations in the same way the Walkathon funds are. This year, more than 620 mini-walks were held between early September and early November.

The funds from Help the Homeless Program activities, which include the walkathon, related mini-walks, and other fund-raising events, go directly to support the 180 beneficiary organizations in the Washington area that are working to prevent and end homelessness, with an emphasis on programs that help homeless people return to independent living. In 2005, more than $7.8 million was raised through the Help the Homeless Program.

About the Help the Homeless Program

In 1988, Fannie Mae Corporation created the Help the Homeless Program
to respond to the growing needs of homeless people in the Washington
metropolitan area. The program -- a fund-raising and awareness-raising
effort -- culminates each year in a Walkathon on the National Mall on the
Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The first Help the Homeless Walkathon included 150 Fannie Mae employees walking in Rock Creek Park to raise $90,000 for four local nonprofit agencies. Now, 18 years later, the Fannie Mae Foundation Help the Homeless Program has become the largest funding collaborative in the nation focused on homelessness. To date, the Help the
Homeless Program has raised more than $54.5 million for more than 220
nonprofits that serve homeless people and those at risk of becoming

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