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Celebrating Housing Heroes

RHA 2020 Logo Cropped

Of all the events sponsored by Liberty, my favorite is the annual Reaching Home Awards and Celebration. Presented by the Partnership for Strong Communities, it gathers everyone who is involved in the campaign to end homelessness in our state and honors a select few whose contributions to the fight have been extraordinary.¬† This year’s event, like others, was virtual; but it still captured the warmth, commitment, and fellowship that have marked this celebration since its beginning in

Like pretty much all events in these days of COVID, this year’s Reaching Home Awards presentation was held online.¬† Four absolutely amazing human beings were honored:

  • Dan Shetler of the CT Mental Health Center received the Diane Randall Leadership Award for his work in developing Connecticut’s leading-edge homelessness data system.
  • Sarah Fox of the Partnership for Strong Communities was presented with the Rev. Richard Schuster Advocacy Award for her leadership in advocating for a system that ends homelessness instead of just managing it.
  • Ronald Buxton of the South Park Inn and Veterans Inc. received the Carol Walter Housing Tenant Award for leveraging his own lived experience of homelessness to end the homelessness of others.
  • Rick Porth of Connecticut United Way was recognized with the Barbara Geller Lifetime Leadership Award for his leadership and advocacy in expanding the social safety net in Connecticut, and in making 211 a centralized “front door” for anyone in the state who needs help.

You can read more about the awardees here.

In addition to the award presentations, Amanda Andere of Funders Together to End Homelessness offered a keynote filled with heartfelt observations on the connections between racism and homelessness and a stirring call to action to put an end to both.

We all know that virtual events can be a snore.¬† The 2020 Reaching Home Awards and Celebration was anything but.¬† I signed off feeling joyful and uplifted to be a small part of a community of incredible people who will stop at nothing to eradicate homelessness from our state–and proud to be part of an organization that helps them to do it.

Congratulations to the award winners, and to our friends at PSC who put the celebration together.  You left all of us charged up and ready to continue the fight.  Thank you!

–Sue Murphy