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13th October
2010
written by Catherine An

Today’s guest post comes from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Our good friends at NLCHP are hosting their annual McKinney-Vento Awards tomorrow – Thursday, October 14 – at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.

Each year, at our annual McKinney-Vento Awards, NLCHP pays tribute to the voices of homeless persons and those fighting to make them heard. This year, on Thursday, October 14, at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., NLCHP is proud to welcome U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan as keynote speaker at an evening honoring individuals and organizations who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the fight to end homelessness in America.

The NLCHP is pleased honor New York Times best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, whose work has demonstrated a deep commitment to raising awareness of and promoting understanding about poverty and homelessness in the U.S. We are also excited to honor Dechert LLP, a firm with an exemplary record of pro bono legal work. Lastly, we will honor the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania, which will receive the Bruce F. Vento Award.

We are also honored to recognize the Elzer family with the Personal Achievement Award.

Last spring, in the span of a month, the Elzers lost everything. The father, William, lost his job, the family’s vehicle was repossessed, and they were forced out of their house and into shelter. But as the children began to adjust to their new situation, they were faced with another bleak prospect. The kids’ school district claimed they were no longer eligible to attend school because several of the churches they took shelter in were outside the district.

With the help of the Education Law Center and NLCHP, the Elzers fought the ruling and in March, they won the battle. The district agreed to comply with the law and re-enroll the children, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued new guidelines to prevent this from happening to the state’s 43,000 other homeless children.

Please join NLCHP at this year’s awards ceremony. Please check the website for further information about this year’s Annual McKinney-Vento Awards. To sponsor the event or to purchase tickets, please contact Whitney Gent.

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