LABC Institute and Wells Fargo Collaborate to Launch Virtual Speaker Series to Tackle COVID-19’S Impact on California’s Housing Crisis

Apr 9, 2020

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (April 9, 2020) — As COVID-19 sweeps California, tens of thousands of people still live on the streets, making them more vulnerable to contracting and rapidly spreading the coronavirus and risking a further strain on a fragile healthcare system that is battling shortages of beds and ventilators. Amidst this urgent backdrop, the LABC Institute is joining with Wells Fargo to launch a new live webinar series focused on how our region is addressing homelessness and housing affordability, and promoting policy efforts at the city, county and state level to get those seeking shelter rapidly housed.

“This pandemic is exacerbating Los Angeles’ homeless and housing shortage. In mere weeks, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our economy and put millions of people out of work and at risk of losing their homes,” said Gregg Sherkin, SVP, community relations senior manager at Wells Fargo. “It is vital for us to take action and develop a roadmap for helping people get – and stay – housed.”

The first webinar event, which is slated for Thursday, April 9 at 1pm, will feature Statewide Homelessness Taskforce Co-Chairs LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. The discussion will focus on what’s being done to address homelessness during this health care crisis on a local and statewide level, and how COVID-19 will change the larger discussion surrounding affordable housing in California.

Future events will feature some of the most prominent elected officials and experts on issues of homelessness and housing affordability. Confirmed presenters include Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, SBA Los Angeles District Director Victor Parker and CA Community Foundation VP Ann Sewill.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Wells Fargo to produce this virtual discussion series, and for their commitment to these essential issues during this crisis,” said Mary Leslie, President of the LABCi. “This is a difficult time for so many people, but especially those experiencing housing instability and homelessness. We hope this webinar series helps provide clarity to our members and the wider community about what regional and statewide leadership is doing to help.”

The webinar, which will be hosted on video conferencing platform Zoom, will include a moderated discussion with featured panelists followed by a Q&A session where participants can directly engage the speakers. The event will be concurrently livestreamed on Facebook to reach a wider audience.

Information about registering for the webinar can be found on the LABC website:

About the LABC Institute

The LABC Institute is a forward-thinking research and education organization dedicated to strengthening the sustainable economy of California, particularly the Southern California region. Founded in 2010, the LABC Institute provides a bridge between the business, government, environmental, labor and nonprofit communities of Southern California to develop policies and programs that promote investment, jobs and business development. We are the research and education arm of the Los Angeles Business Council, one of the most respected business advocacy organizations in Southern California.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,400 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 32 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 260,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.  Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @WellsFargo.

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