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2 San Fernando Valley executives pedaling to White House to raise funds for homeless

On the way they'll cycle through San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Tulsa and Pittsburgh

People hold signs in support of Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, and Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, before the pair begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)
People hold signs in support of Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, and Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, before the pair begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)
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Two San Fernando Valley leaders began pedaling their bicycles from North Hills to Washington D.C. on Tuesday, March 12, to raise money for a new program to shelter the homeless.

Ken Craft, founder and CEO of Hope the Mission, and Rowan Vansleve, president of Hope the Mission, started their intense ride that will cover 3,500 miles from Santa Monica to Washington D.C. via San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.

In Washington, the two men are planning to lobby elected officials to prioritize mental health services, drug and alcohol treatment, and funding for shelters and low-income housing.

The 43-day adventure will be captured by a film crew working on a documentary called “Homeless from Coast to Coast — the Cause, Consequences, and Cures,” which will capture the crisis of homelessness in major cities across the nation.

  • Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission,...

    Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, begins his bike ride with Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, left, and Ken Craft,...

    Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, left, and Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, speaks before he and...

    Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, speaks before he and Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission,...

    Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, speaks before he and Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • People hold signs in support of Ken Craft, Founder and...

    People hold signs in support of Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, and Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, before the pair begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • People hold signs in support of Ken Craft, Founder and...

    People hold signs in support of Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, and Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, before the pair begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, left, and Ken Craft,...

    Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, left, and Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, hugs his daughter Sidney...

    Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, hugs his daughter Sidney before starting his ride to Washington D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Vansleve and Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

  • Annetta Wells, Senior Director Inside Safe, presents Ken Craft, Founder...

    Annetta Wells, Senior Director Inside Safe, presents Ken Craft, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hope The Mission, and Rowan Vansleve, President Hope The Mission, with a certificate of recognition before the pair begin their bike ride to Washington, D.C. at Hope The Mission’s administrative offices in North Hills, CA., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The pair will bike the approximately 3,500 miles to the U.S. Capital to raise funds and bring awareness to the homelessness crises in Los Angeles and across the country. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily ɫ̳/SCNG)

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While Craft is conservative, he said, Vansleve is progressive. Part of the documentary’s storyline is that the two of them don’t agree on anything except their vision for tackling homelessness.

“We have to help people and we can’t leave people out on the streets. And you’re looking at it through the different lenses and how we have to come together, especially in a political year where the nation is so divided,” he said. “We have to come together.”

Craft and Vansleve will bicycle on winding roads, through sprawling valleys and hilly areas, and will face high winds, freezing nights and relentless sun.

Funds raised from the ride will go toward a new residential program designed for women dealing with substance abuse.

“We’re going to have an adventure, we’re going to have fun, which is something that we always try to do at home, but at the same time it is a huge sacrifice away from my family and away from work,” Vansleve said. “But that’s what I think that a solution looks like a little bit of sacrifice from everyone to end homelessness.”

Photographer Hans Gutknecht contributed to this report. 

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