Outstanding Public, Private and Nonprofit Achievement in Ending Homelessness Honored at Kennedy Cent

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Press Releases | April 10, 2008

April 9, 2008

Contact: Lauren Wright
202-942-8246, lwright@naeh.org

National Alliance to End Homelessness Recognizes Leaders from New York, Atlanta, Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis at Annual Awards Ceremony

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, April 9 during their Annual Awards Ceremony at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre in Washington, DC, the National Alliance to End Homelessness will honor outstanding individuals and agencies for their pioneering work in ending homelessness. The ceremony will feature a performance by gospel singer Brenda Combs and will be hosted by ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton.

The awards will be presented to Richard Harris of Portland Oregon’s Central City Concern for Nonprofit Achievement; Martin Dunn, President of Dunn Development Corporation in New York City for Private Sector Achievement; and Hennepin County, Minnesota Housing Commissioner Gail Dorfman for Public Sector Achievement. Horace Sibley, Chairman of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta's Regional Commission on Homelessness, will receive the prestigious Macy Award.

“Ending homelessness requires adopting permanent housing strategies that must be supported by a partnership between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors of a community in order to be successfully executed,” said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “We applaud Richard Harris, Martin Dunn, Gail Dorfman, and Horace Sibley for the vital work they have done in fostering these partnerships and dramatically reducing homelessness in their communities. Their leadership has set an example for others across the nation when developing their own plans to end homelessness,” Roman said.

Brenda Combs, Ambassador for Inspiration and Achievement at Grand Canyon University, is an award-winning public school teacher who will begin the ceremony by sharing her comeback story of how she went from homeless to hero before performing a song she wrote. After Brenda’s performance, Radio and Journalism Hall of Fame inductee Anne Compton will announce the award winners.

The Nonprofit Sector Achievement Award will be presented to Central City Concern (CCC) of Portland, Oregon. Executive irector Richard Harris will accept the award on behalf of the organization. Founded in 1979, CCC has been invaluable in helping Portland achieve a dramatic 70 percent decrease in chronic homelessness. The success of their program has hinged on their integration of affordable housing with comprehensive supportive services. The holistic program focuses on creating an atmosphere conducive to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, while helping participants gain and maintain a living wage and promoting peer relationships and community development.

Martin Dunn, president of Dunn Development Corp., will receive the Private Sector Achievement Award. From 1993 to 1997, Martin was the Executive Director of the New York City nonprofit East New York Urban Youth Corps. In four years, he quadrupled its staff, renovated more than forty buildings for affordable housing, and secured financing for an additional $50 million in new housing units. In 1998, Martin founded Dunn Development Corp. to create new supportive and affordable housing projects for the city. The company is currently developing initiatives to serve underrepresented groups, such as those recently released from prison or suffering from psychiatric disabilities.

Gail Dorfman will receive the Public Sector Achievement Award due to her outstanding progress in ending homelessness while serving Minneapolis and Hennepin County as County Commissioner since 1999. Since her election, Commissioner Dorfman has established the Community Advisory Board on Homelessness, a coalition of 70 men and women, including business leaders, elected officials, philanthropists, formerly homeless people, and religious leaders, who provide vital policy recommendations on homelessness issues to the local government and community. Through her work with the Community Advisory Board, Commissioner Dorfman has been responsible for encouraging the county to increase funding for affordable and supportive housing, which has led to the development of more than 65 housing projects over the last five years.

Horace Sibley, a retired Senior Partner of King & Spalding, LLP, will receive the John W. Macy award. Sibley chaired the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta's Regional Commission on Homelessness as it developed the “Blueprint to End Homelessness in Atlanta in Ten Years.” Released in March 2003, the plan brings together local foundations and agencies, as well as the faith and nonprofit communities, to provide eviction prevention, permanent housing with on-site support, and a reunification program to assist those homeless persons who wish to be reunited with family or support systems. The John W. Macy Award is given to those individuals who have made a significant contribution to ending homelessness.

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The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, mission- driven organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. The Alliance analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost- effective policy solutions. Working collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, the Alliance provides data and research that lead to stronger programs and policies that help communities achieve their goal of ending homelessness. For more information on The National Alliance to End Homelessness, visit: www.endhomelessness.org