Congressman, Advocates to be Honored for Work to End Homelessness


WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 21, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — On Wednesday, September 21, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor William Spriggs will deliver the keynote address at an event honoring Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), the U.S. Human Rights Fund, DLA Piper, and Rob Robinson for their extraordinary work to end homelessness. The 13th Annual McKinney-Vento Awards, hosted by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP), will be held at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel ballroom in Washington, DC. A reception will begin at 6 p.m.  The program will begin at 7:20 p.m.

Each year, the McKinney-Vento Awards acknowledge the contributions of individuals and organizations to the fight against homelessness in America. They also pay tribute to two outstanding national leaders: Congressmen Stewart B. McKinney and Bruce F. Vento, who co-authored the first major legislation addressing homelessness.  NLCHP’s founder, Maria Foscarinis, worked with these men to help pass the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987.

The event brings together leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to recognize the award winners’ outstanding efforts.  With poverty at record levels and family homelessness climbing 20 percent between 2007 and 2010, their work has never been more critical.

The U.S. Human Rights Fund (USHRF) will receive the Stewart B. McKinney Award.  Since 2005, USHRF has provided $20 million to nonprofits working to ensure the U.S. meets its human rights obligations.  USHRF and the Law Center have partnered on a number of campaigns to reframe homelessness as a human rights crisis, and make the right to housing a reality in America. Dorothy Q. Thomas, a human rights leader who helped establish the Fund, will present the award.

Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) will receive the Bruce F. Vento Award.  Mr. Frank was a key partner of the Law Center in its advocacy on the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which ensures renters living in foreclosed properties have adequate time to find new housing, and the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act.  He is also a leader on behalf of the National Housing Trust Fund. Sue Vento, the Congressman’s widow, will present the award.

DLA Piper will receive the Pro Bono Counsel Award.  The firm has been a key partner in the Law Center’s work to protect the education rights of homeless children.  Currently, DLA Piper is taking a national leadership role in the Law Center’s exciting new Lawyers’ Education Access Resource Network (Project LEARN). It provides training and technical assistance to homeless families and school personnel across the country to ensure homeless children maintain a stable school life. Susanne Turner, pro bono partner at Dechert and chair of the Law Center’s Lawyers Executive Advisory Partners (LEAP) program, will present the award.

Rob Robinson will receive the Personal Achievement Award.  Robinson was homeless for almost three years in Miami and New York.  Since overcoming his homelessness in 2007, he has become a powerful advocate in the human right to housing movement and has worked closely with the Law Center to represent the needs of the homeless population before Congress and the United Nations.  G.W. Rolle, a formerly homeless advocate and a member of the Law Center’s Board of Directors, will present the award.

Laura Evans, award-winning journalist and co-anchor of Fox 5 News, will serve as mistress of ceremonies. For more information about the awards or our sponsors, see the event website.


Whitney Gent
Phone: 202-638-2535

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