WASHINGTON, DC, October 24, 2007 — U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) received the 2007 Stewart McKinney Award from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) for his leadership in trying to end and prevent homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Awards recognize individuals or organizations for leadership in advancing solutions to end homelessness and poverty. Other honorees at this year’s event included NBA Player Etan Thomas of the Washington Wizards and United States District Court Judge Jay Zainey.
“Since becoming a member of Congress, U.S. Senator Jack Reed has worked tirelessly to increase funding for and reauthorize the McKinney-Vento Act,” said Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. “NLCHP is proud to honor Senator Jack Reed for his leadership in the fight to end homelessness.”
“I am honored to receive this award from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Homelessness is an extremely complex and pervasive problem that touches every state across the nation,” said Reed, a senior member of the Banking Committee, which oversees federal housing policy. “No family, no vet returning from Iraq, no mentally ill person, no one at all should have to fall into homelessness in order to get help. Only by working in cross-sector alliances are we going to address the root causes of homelessness — a shortage of affordable housing, insufficient income, and inadequate social services — and develop realistic, practical, and community-based solutions to homelessness.”
Studies show that as many as 3.5 million Americans — including 1.35 million children — experience homelessness each year.
To help reduce homelessness nationwide, Senator Reed authored the bipartisan Community Partnership to End Homelessness Act and the Services to End Long-Term Homelessness Act, which would provide cities and towns with the tools they need to place homeless individuals and families into permanent housing. Throughout his career, Senator Reed has been a tireless champion for better access to affordable housing, and has led the effort to preserve the low-income tax credit, a tool that has helped fund construction of affordable housing for more than three million Americans.
The Bruce F. Vento Award was presented to Washington Wizards forward Etan Thomas and United States District Court Judge Jay Zainey. Thomas is a committed advocate of homeless and low-income Americans, as well as those impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Judge Zainey organized the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P) Program, in which attorneys provide legal consultation and notary services at homeless centers in New Orleans.