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HUD Secretary to Speak at Event Honoring Best-Selling Author Barbara Ehrenreich and Other Homeless Advocates

RealEstateRama (press release) - U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan will deliver the keynote address, Ending Homelessness in Our Time, at an event honoring New York Times best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich and others for their extraordinary commitment to ending homelessness and poverty in America. The 12th Annual McKinney-Vento Awards, hosted by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP), will be held at the LEnfant Plaza Hotel ballroom in Washington, DC. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. Secretary Donovan’s address will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Each year, the McKinney-Vento Awards acknowledge the contributions of individuals and organizations to the fight against homelessness and poverty in America.  They also pay tribute to two outstanding national leaders: Representatives Stewart B. McKinney and Bruce F. Vento, who co-authored the first, and still only, major legislation addressing homelessness. NLCHP’s founder, Maria Foscarinis, worked with these representatives and was instrumental in the law’s passage.

The event brings together leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to recognize the award winners efforts to end and prevent homelessness.  It is especially timely now, when homelessness has increased dramatically across the country.

Barbara Ehrenreich will receive the Stewart B. McKinney Award.  A preeminent author and social commentator, Ehrenreich’s writings have appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and Time Magazine.  Among her work examining the challenges of the American job market is her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. In 2009, she authored a series of op-eds on poverty for the New York Times, including Is It Now A Crime to Be Poor? on the criminalization of homelessness in America.

The Education Law Center of Pennsylvania (ELC) will receive the Bruce F. Vento Award, and the Elzer family will receive the Personal Achievement Award.   Since 1975, ELC has worked to make good public education a reality for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable youths, including homeless and poor children.  This year, it partnered with NLCHP to win two major victories, including a suit filed on behalf of the Elzer family.

In April 2009, the Elzers lost everything.  The father, Bill, lost his job, the family’s only vehicle was repossessed, and they were forced out of their house and into shelter life.  Then, their school district informed them they were no longer eligible to attend school because several of the churches they took shelter in were outside the district.  With the support of ELC and NLCHP, the Elzers fought the ruling and settled the case.  The children were reenrolled, and the Department of Education issued new guidance to protect the right of the states 43,000 other homeless children to a stable education.

Dechert LLP will receive the Pro Bono Counsel Award.  The firm offered extensive support on a number of NLCHP projects this past year, ranging from research into laws governing unaccompanied youth to analyses of the unique barriers faced by disabled homeless persons.  In July 2010, Dechert ranked third in The American Lawyer’s annual pro bono rankings.  The issue featured Dechert’s work on behalf of low-income tenants facing eviction.

Laura Evans Manatos, co-anchor of Fox 5 News, will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the third consecutive year.  Major sponsors include the Leonsis Foundation and Bruce and Lori Laitman Rosenblum.

October is quickly becoming an important month for homeless advocates. October 4 marked the United Nations’ World Habitat Day, October 10 is World Homeless Day, and NLCHP continues the observations with the McKinney-Vento Awards event on October 14.
Source : Originally Published RealEstateRama (press release), Oct 7, 2010
Celebrities : Barbara Ehrenreich
Categories : Speakers News, Author News
Posted 10/7/2010 12:10:57 PM | Permalink
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