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Kobe Bryant launches foundation for homeless youth

Lakers star Kobe Bryant has a new project and it has nothing to do with basketball. He's started a foundation to fight homelessness in Los Angeles.
June 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Lakers star Kobe Bryant has a new project and it has nothing to do with basketball. He's started a foundation to fight homelessness in Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant is a five-time NBA champion, 13-time All-Star and a former league MVP.

Tuesday he announced a new opponent off the court.

Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, are launching a foundation to target homelessness in Los Angeles

"We're going to attack this. We're going to attack this, because for our youth to be out there stranded in the street feeling like there's nobody else that could support them or help them or give them guidance to be able to follow or achieve their dreams is weak," said Kobe.

Just steps away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Bryants made the announcement at a non-profit day center called My Friend's Place.

Kobe talked with a group of young adults. He said the stories he heard were heart-wrenching yet motivating.

"Even him raising the awareness of it will definitely be making a difference for this organization and many others like it, and that difference is going to be a difference between life and death for many youths like myself," said Michael Dorsey, who is homeless.

My Friend's Place in Hollywood sees 80 to 120 young people come through every day. They're part of the 7,000 young adults in Los Angeles County alone who are homeless.

"It shocked the hell out of me because I had no idea. Especially after a game, drive home, you kind of see the issue around you, but you don't see it," said Kobe.

Kobe says he and his wife are still educating themselves on the homeless problem. He says his foundation will increase awareness and raise money to help transform the lives of homeless kids and young adults.

"It's all around us. We walk out here, we're on our way home, whatever it is, it's around us. And it's not fair," said Kobe. "And it's something that we can solve, so let's do it."

Kobe had dreams of NBA success as a young kid. Now he wants to give some less-fortunate young people a chance to live out their dreams.

"It's just California, so I came out here to make it and I'm going to make it," said Loreal Madonna Moore, who moved to L.A. from Oklahoma.


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