'No place like home' - AIDS Healthcare Foundation preps Rose Parade float on homeless crisis

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Friday, December 30, 2022
Nonprofit preps Rose Parade float highlighting homelessness issue
The nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation is preparing a Rose Parade float featuring characters from "The Wizard of Oz" to discuss work on combating homelessness.

IRWINDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- We're just a few days away from the 134th Tournament of Roses Parade but there's still plenty of work to be done.

Among hundreds of volunteers at an Irwindale site for float-building, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is preparing a display featuring characters from "The Wizard of Oz."

The float's theme is "There's no place like home," to highlight work the nonprofit is doing to providing housing for the homeless.

For the past five years, AHF has been purchasing old single-room occupancy hotels and converting them into housing for the homeless and low-income individuals.

"We really want to encourage thinking outside the box as far as addressing the homelessness crisis," said AHF communications director Ged Kenslea

The global exposure provided by coverage of the Rose Parade helps boost the message, Kenslea said.

This is the 10th time the group has assembled a float for the parade. The organization has 7,000 employees in 45 countries and they are inspired when they see the floats on television.

The group hopes its efforts on homelessness can establish a model for the country.

"If we can get it right here in Los Angeles - it's a crisis here, with 41,000 people homeless in the city, over 69,000 in the county. We can really set an example nationwide."

The Rose Parade will be covered live on ABC7 starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 2.