It isn’t unusual to have technology firm owners to discuss their ambition to ‘save the world’ or ‘improve the conditions of human life’. Isn’t Mark Zuckerberg constantly talking about curing all disease? And what about Elon Musk and his contempt of public transport?
Well, get ready to add Therese Tucker to this list too. The founder of the technology company, BlackLine, is now attempting to clothe all the homeless in Los Angeles. Let’s find out why and how!
Creating a Public Service Tech Community
Therese Tucker, company CEO, along with her team of employees is leading a humanitarian drive that aims to provide every homeless individual in LA with brand new clothing in the holiday season. The estimates suggest that there is a minimum of 50,000 people in Los Angeles who are currently homeless. In the backdrop of these statistics, Tucker’s effort can be considered as a highly ambitious and proactive example of a regional tech firm trying to develop a more philanthropic and civic-minded tech community in LA.
BlackLine was founded in the year 2001 and is now one of the top cloud software providers. Its software is utilized for controlling and automating the complete financial process. The company was founded with a vision to modernize all accounting and financial functions and allow for more operational agility and efficiency. It offers creative services and solutions so that finance and accounting leaders can be empowered to work better, smarter and faster.
Tucker launched her ‘clothing the homeless in Los Angeles’ endeavor in November 2017. To make this drive a success, BlackLine has joined hands with Shelter Partnership, a nonprofit organization and is distributing 180,000 underwear, pants, sweatshirts and other clothing items. These are being delivered to places like shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and other similar locations.
Lack of Food is Not the Only Problem: Tucker
According to a June 2017 report released by The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, approximately 58,000 people are living without homes in the Los Angeles County. Out of these, 43,000 remain unsheltered. There is a 23% increase in the total number from 2016.
Therese Tucker believes that this is a huge problem. She is an old-time resident of LA and has her company headquarters in San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills. She adds that there are several thousand people who are cramped together in a small area in downtown Los Angeles. Also, while there are missions and other organizations doing a fair job of providing food to the people, there is a more widespread issue to address. These homeless people also require safe shelter, clothing, medical care and various other services to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
According to Executive Director of Shelter Partnership, Ruth Schwartz, seven small trucks of sweatshirts, socks, undergarments, and sweatpants have been donated by Therese so far. These will help clothe several thousand people who are on the streets and in need of essential amenities. Schwartz also expressed his gratitude for the highly generous and vital contribution made by Tucker for the homeless in LA.
The clothing project initiated by BlackLine is a massive undertaking and has been planned quite thoroughly by Tucker over a period of time. She has been attempting to come at an accurate estimation of all distribution logistics since June. Also, this is more than just a community welfare project for Tucker. She was drawn into this project because of her husband, who works at an LA hospital as a chaplain and sees several homeless people being admitted for treatment on a regular basis. Over the years, he has witnessed that numerous personal items of these people get lost during the process.
The yearly Giving Back Day of BlackLine was held on 18th November 2017. It was one of the highlights of the company’s InTheBlack North America 2017: The Accounting & Finance Innovation Summit. The Giving Back Day has been designed for bringing together the company’s partners, employees, and customers so that they can make contributions to their local community.
Mayor is All Praise for Tucker
Tucker is known to be a highly focused and detail-oriented engineer. She has invested over 15 years in making BlackLine a public-listed company that now enjoys a market cap of $1.8 billion. The CEO is extremely aware and honest about the various problems she might encounter while trying to achieve this mountainous task. In particular, she informed that the company, along with its nonprofit partner, is yet to figure out a way in which it can donate clothes to those who need them the most.
The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, had much to say about Tucker’s initiative. He was grateful that companies such as BlackLine were joining the fight in bringing hope and joy to the homeless in LA. This was another step towards getting people off the dangerous streets. He added that it is heartbreaking to witness homelessness and that it is a human tragedy. However, partnerships, such as that between BlackLine and Shelter Partnership, set an excellent example of how things could change if sincere efforts are made.
The initiative was kick-started by BlackLine on 4th November 2017 at the Union Rescue Mission.