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Celebrities Back HUD Homeless Campaign
Stars shine in new HUD TV spots
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Dateline: 12/27/00

Who would not be for ending homelessness in America? Certainly none of the big-name list of stars and dignitaries who joined Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo for last week's New York premiere of HUD's "Put a Face on Homelessness" series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to be aired this winter.

The campaign is a part of HUD's on-going effort to highlight the plight of the nation’s homeless and encourage more Americans to become involved in helping the homeless become self-sufficient.

Prepare to drop names. Actors William Baldwin, Chris Noth, Mandy Patinkin, Annabella Sciorra and fashion celebrities Christie Brinkley and Frederique Van der Wal joined HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo for the New York premiere of the PSAs during HUD’s second annual December to Remember event.

But wait, there were more: Other dignitaries attending the event included U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli, U.S. Representatives Joseph Crowley, Nita Lowey, Gregory Meeks, Charles Rangel and Anthony Weiner, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, U.S. Customs Service Commissioner Ray Kelly, City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Public Advocate Mark Green, Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, CUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Herman Badillo, entertainer Willie Colon and union officials Dennis Rivera and Daniel Persons.

Stars you will see in the 10 and 30-second spots to be televised on the CBS, NBC and ABC networks and the Lifetime Channel throughout the winter include: William Baldwin, Christie Brinkley, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Ted Danson, David Dinkins, Roma Downey, Heather French, Whoopi Goldberg, Roy Jones Jr., Kevin Kline, Heidi Klum, Nathan Lane, Chris Noth, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mandy Patinkin, Oliver Platt, Ray Romano, Annabella Sciorra, Martin Sheen, Daniel Stern, and Frederique Van der Wal. Also committed to taping future spots are Gillian Anderson, Marlee Matlin and singer Macy Gray.

In one version of the PSAs, the celebrity says: "Many people recognize my face. But there are thousands of men, women and children who we walk past every day, but really never see. They are the invisible, the faceless, the homeless. Walking past them won't solve the problem. They need our help. This winter, put a face on homelessness. Call or go online to learn about an award-winning HUD program that's helping homeless people in your community. "

HUD’s homeless campaign encourages the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals to make the last month of the year a December to remember by committing to help homeless people through donations, volunteering, mentoring, or other service-related activities.

Production of the PSAs is being funded by the Ford Foundation through the Council for Excellence in Government, which sponsors an annual competition to recognize outstanding government performance. HUD’s Continuum of Care program won the prestigious Harvard University/Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Award in 1999. 


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