Awards Presented by NHLC for Work to End Homelessness

National Homelessness Law Center logoThe National Homelessness Law Center (Law Center) will be honoring U.S. Representative Cori Bush, Washington State Representative Nicole Macri, Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless co-founder Patricia Mullahy Fugere, Alston & Bird LLP and A Bigger Vision Films at the 2022 Human Right to Housing Awards in Washington, D.C. The Law Center is bestowing these awards for work to advance solutions to homelessness in America.

The Law Center is the leading national voice defending the legal rights of persons experiencing homelessness and advancing the human right to housing.  The Human Right to Housing Awards (formerly known as the McKinney Vento Awards) is an annual nonpartisan event that honors the work of leaders in the movement to end homelessness.  The 2022 Awards will be hosted by Akin Gump LLP at 2001 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-1037 on November 16, 2022, at 5:30 PM. 

The first two Awards pay tribute to Congressmen Stewart B. McKinney and Bruce F. Vento, co-authors of the first major legislation addressing the national homelessness crisis.  A Bigger Vision Films, a documentary film company, will receive the McKinney Award for its film “Under the Bridge” and soon to be released documentary “Beyond the Bridge.” U.S. Representative Cori Bush will receive the Vento Award for using her story and experience of homelessness to advance key solutions to homelessness, including the Unhoused Bill of Rights, pushing for the extension of the eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic, and advocating for a humane and holistic approach to addressing systemic injustices.

Alston & Bird LLP will receive the Pro Bono Award for its pro bono work with the Law Center and other advocates to defeat state legislation that would have reduced funding for affordable housing, promoted the criminalization of homelessness and compromised the civil rights of unhoused people.  Alston & Bird has been active in the Law Center’s Homeless Action Legal Team (HALT), a pro bono “think tank” working with Law Center staff to protect the legal rights of unhoused persons and promote solutions to homelessness.  

The Law Center is also introducing three new Awards this year.  The State Legislator, Local Legislator and Justice Awards.  

Washington State Representative Nicole Macri will receive the State Legislator Award. Representative Macri has more than 20 years of experience championing issues around affordable housing, homelessness, human services, behavioral health, and health care.  She has been at the forefront of the Housing First movement nationally and is a recognized leader in practical and effective strategies that end the homelessness of people living with serious disabilities.  In 2021, her Just Cause Eviction bill became law, ensuring that Washington state landlords provide a valid reason for ending certain leases with tenants, a major step in preventing homelessness.  

Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin will receive the Local Legislator Award.  Councilmember Bonin has been a member of the Los Angeles City Council since 2013 and has been a passionate voice on ending homelessness. Speaking from his own experience, he has urged solutions to homelessness, such as shared housing and master leasing, safe parking and bridge housing programs, while advocating to protect the civil rights of unhoused people. 

The Justice Award will go to Patricia Mullahy Fugere, co-founder and recently retired Executive Director of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.  Ms. Fugere has devoted her career to addressing the emergency legal needs of our unhoused neighbors while pursuing systemic solutions to homelessness that center the voices of unhoused people. Her unwavering dedication to defending the lives of unhoused persons and advancing policy solutions to homelessness has inspired generations of advocates and left a deep legacy of justice in DC.

The National Homelessness Law Center is a national organization dedicated to using the power of the law to prevent and end homelessness. With the support of a large network of pro bono lawyers, we address the immediate and long-term needs of people who are homeless or at risk through outreach and training, advocacy, impact litigation, and public education.

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