For the first time, in 2020, we did not give any awards because of our inability, due to the pandemic, to gather all our folks together in one location to celebrate. This year, while we still cannot safely gather a few hundred of us in one space, we will have a virtual Trivia Night and Awards Ceremony and honor these recipients there. We are thankful to be able to share who the recipients of our 2021 awards are.
- buddy gray Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Moore, who we lost earlier this year. To read more about Bob, click here.
- Service Provider Lifetime Achievement Award: Gwendolyn Green of Bethany House
- Julie Martin Service Provider of the Year:
- Bethany House Services
- Cincinnati Health Network
- City Gospel Mission Homeless Services Department
- Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services PATH Team
- Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati
- Lighthouse Youth and Family Services Homeless Youth Services Department
- Mary Magdalen House
- Our Daily Bread
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Talbert House Housing Department
- St. Francis Seraph Ministries Dining Room
- The Salvation Army Greater Cincinnati Area Family Shelter
- YWCA Greater Cincinnati Domestic Violence Shelter
- Young Activist of the Year: Rico Blackman Jr. of Black Power Initiative
- Streetvibes Distributor of the Year: Kenneth Bussell
Why are 13 groups listed as Julie Martin Service Provider of the Year? The list could be longer. So many of our Member Organizations have worked so hard to keep their services going through the pandemic. With this list of 13, we are focusing on the direct service agencies whose actions have played a major role in preventing the widespread outbreaks that have been seen in other parts of the country among people in shelter and outdoors.
When the pandemic erupted, we had to quickly decide what to do to prevent deadly outbreaks in our congregant shelters and among people living outdoors. We gathered our Member-Organizations and built and implemented strategy together. Whether it was quickly moving 400 people from congregant shelter into hotels, serving meals to 200% more people and providing meals to people now in hotels, figuring out how to provide hot showers safely, doing street outreach when so many were staying home, fighting to get COVID-19 tests, changing the facility setups to make distancing more possible, running shelter in a hotel, when you have never done that before or running a shelter for the first time period,these organization continually stepped up. We kept asking these folks to do more work than they had staff or budgets for, and in many instances with little guarantee of needed funding or knowledge of how long it would be, and they all kept saying “Yes”. So far, in our City and County we have not suffered the major life-ending outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness that other localities have. This is because we have strategically worked together and the staff at these agencies decided to act based on the importance of human life and morality over all else.
Coalition Board Member Barry Klein tells a story about Bob Moore and buddy gray at the 2021 Trivia Night and Awards Ceremony