PITCHING IN: Leah Dietrich (left) volunteered during an event to feed the homeless hosted by Honda Motors at the Civic Auditorium on Friday. (Paul Alvarez Jr. editor@www.smdp.com)

When Sienna Brooks and Zoe Tucker wake up Sunday morning, they’ll have roofs over their heads — and they won’t take it for granted.

Indeed, on a day when many of their peers will likely be sleeping in, the Santa Monica High School students will be out of bed early.

Brooks and Tucker, who recently started a Samohi club to help homeless people through activism and service, will be among hundreds of students, parents and community members participating in a run and walk fundraiser Feb. 8 in Brentwood.

Proceeds from the third-annual “Home Run for Kids” support Upward Bound House, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit agency that aims to eliminate family homelessness through housing, resources and advocacy.

The event “is a great opportunity for our community to collaborate and support the amazing work the Upward Bound House organization provides,” Brooks said. “I admire all the hard work and strive to limit family homelessness in our city. Homelessness is an important issue that continually needs to be addressed and supported.”

More than 50,000 people are estimated to be homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

There were 742 people tallied in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count in 2014, a 5-percent drop from the previous year’s figure. The results from this year’s count are scheduled to be released later this month.

“Anyone can become down and out on their luck at any point in their lives,” said Heidi Brooks, Sienna’s mother. “It’s nice to know there are places you can turn to.”

One of those places is Upward Bound House, which has called homelessness “a growing crisis across Los Angeles.”

Upward Bound House operates temporary housing in Santa Monica and Culver City. It also offers a wide variety of supplemental support services, including case management, food and clothing, financial literacy training, parenting classes, children’s enrichment and permanent housing placements.

The organization has provided housing transitions for more than 900 families, including more than 1,600 children, since 1997.

The brainchild of an Upward Bound House board member, the annual run has raised about $80,000 in each of its previous two editions, development coordinator Krystle Ruiz said.

And it has become particularly popular among the local school community. Students and parents from several public and private schools in the area form teams and complete the course together.

“A lot of these kids know about us because their school is involved in philanthropic giving,” said Marine Derrick, communications associate with Upward Bound House. “I’ve seen four different schools come through in big groups, as well as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, to volunteer, to learn, to come and see the kids here. We blend right into the neighborhood.”

Brooks and Tucker have witnessed the impact of Upward Bound House, and they have also raised money and volunteered at local homeless shelters through their school club, Safe Haven.

Brooks has rallied her parents and siblings to take part in the upcoming Upward Bound House event.

“My family will continue to support this great organization through donations,” Heidi Brooks said, “and, once a year, running our hearts out.”

The 10k race begins at 7:30 a.m., the 5k starts at 8:30 a.m. and the Kiddie K is slated for 9:30 a.m.

The course, which runs along San Vicente Boulevard between Darlington and Avondale avenues in Brentwood, is stroller- and dog-friendly. The street will be closed to motorists until about noon.

A nearby entertainment expo will feature food, vendors and a raffle as well as a bounce house, face-painting station and other children’s activities.

Advance registration for “Home Run for Kids” ranges from $15 to $40 depending on age. The fees will be higher for day-of entrants.

To register, or for more information, visit www.homerunforkids.com or www.upwardboundhouse.com or call (310) 458-7779.

Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, jeff@www.smdp.com and on Twitter.

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