We are so very pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Homeless Alliance Awards, which will be presented at our luncheon on December 12, noon, at the Pearl Street Bar and Grill. Lots of people do great things in our area – here’s a few who are especially notable, and the recognition they’ve earned:
The Killian Vetter Individual Achievement Award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and special achievement of an individual who has worked on behalf of homeless and low-income persons. Individuals who have received this award include professional service providers, volunteers, government officials, and other people actively engaged in work to benefit homeless persons or working towards the elimination of homelessness at its root causes.
Killian Vetter was one of the founders of the Erie County Commission on Homelessness in 1992, expanding on the efforts of the Erie County Task Force on Homelessness. Vetter’s efforts ensured a systemic, coordinated effort among the providers in the Buffalo area. An advocate for social justice, he was the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union from 1968 to 1974, was one of the original volunteers at Crisis Services, and worked on many issues that affected disadvantaged populations in Western New York. His work earned him numerous awards, including Volunteer of the Year from four different organizations (Mental Health Association, Crisis Services, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and New York State Mental Health Association), Friendship Foundation Award and he was the Buffalo News “Citizen of the Year” in 1988. Mr. Vetter passed away in 2008.
The 2014 Killian Vetter Individual Achievement Award winner is Barbara Farr, of the Erie County Department of Social Services.
The Monsignor Henry J. Gugino Organizational Service Award recognizes the achievements of an agency or program that has provided exceptional service to homeless persons or toward the elimination of homelessness at its root causes.
Monsignor Henry J. Gugino, a passionate advocate for the poor, spent much of his 33 year-long priesthood as one of the more visible members of the local Catholic clergy, serving as assistant director and later diocesan director of Catholic Charities. Through his work with Catholic Charities, he oversaw the creation of scores of programs to aid the most vulnerable in the area. Monsignor Gugino passed away in 2002.
The 2014 Monsignor Henry J. Gugino Organizational Service Award is Cazenovia Recovery Systems.
The Unsung Hero Award is given to those in our community whose quiet and diligent efforts had an incredibly positive impact on the lives of homeless individuals and families. This years winners are Paula Hunt (Family Promise), Anne Harrington (Loaves and Fishes/Friends of Night People), Darlene Meyer (Cornerstone Manor) and Megan Bingham (Friends of Night People).
The Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of an eminent effort. The individuals receiving this award have gone above and beyond in their service to the homeless, either directly or indirectly by serving the homeless alleviation provider community. This describes Daemen College professor Diane Bessel‘s work this year, being both a well and fountain of expertise in facilitating the initial development of our community’s coordinated entry process.
Come join us at our luncheon to celebrate these folks and enjoy a meal together! Details on acquiring tickets are here.