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Kobe Bryant raises awareness on homeless issue in Los Angeles

November 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Most people know Kobe Bryant from his drives down the lane. But these days, the Los Angeles Lakers star is making news for his walk down the row, Skid Row.

Bryant's new online video campaign documents his efforts to find answers to the city's growing homelessness problem. It's a five-part web series called "Mission," and it brought Bryant to the Los Angeles Mission on Skid Row to meet some of the people who are struggling to make a comeback.

"The homeless initiative is something that's kind of been put on the backburner, so we wanted to lend our name to something that needed a little light shined on it," said Bryant.

Part of the mission will take Bryant off the court and onto the streets of downtown this weekend for United Way's Homewalk.

"You can run, walk, limp, stroll, whatever you want to do. Just come on out and show your support and raise awareness for a great cause," Bryant said.

United Way officials say over the past five years, Homewalk has attracted 28,000 participants and raised more than $2 million. Bryant is this year's Homewalk Honorary Chair.

"It's a huge issue to have Kobe's leadership on this issue, because this can be an issue that people want to ignore and he has just taken this on as his personal commitment," said Elise Buik, CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

With an estimated 51,000 homeless people on the streets of Los Angeles, it's a problem that needs a lot of walking. The man so used to being in the spotlight is helping to shine that light on an issue so many have looked past.

ABC7 is a proud sponsor of the United Way Homewalk with Bryant.

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