Leahy Leadership Award: Shelia Crowley

Posted On October 29, 2015 By | No Comments on Leahy Leadership Award: Shelia Crowley

Shelia Crowley of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

Shelia Crowley of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

The Leahy Leadership Award was created in honor of Sen. Patrick Leahy to acknowledge advocacy and leadership on behalf of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Today, we are delighted to bestow this high honor on Sheila Crowley, the departing CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  With this award, we recognize her over three-decade long dedication to advocating for, as well as supporting, low-income and precariously housed Americans.

Sheila began her career in Richmond, Virginia, focusing on direct service and policy advocacy, as well as scholarship.  She is a founding member of the Greater Richmond Coalition for the Homeless and the Richmond Better Housing Coalition, as well as the founding executive director of the YWCA Women’s Advocacy Program.

After nearly a decade as the executive director of The Daily Planet, a multi-faceted homeless services and advocacy organization, Sheila went to Washington, DC, to serve as a Social Work Congressional Fellow for the Democratic Housing Subcommittee of the US Banking Committee.

Using her experience working with, and on behalf of, families, domestic violence survivors, seniors, and individuals with disabilities all in need of housing, she sculpted the National Low Income Housing Coalition into a leading player in housing reform, policy reform, budget reform, and advocacy for better homeless services.

The NLIHC works to secure federally assisted affordable housing and increase the investment of safe, livable housing for Americans who struggle to make ends meet.

Under Sheila’s leadership, NLIHC spearheaded the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign.  An incredibly successful initiative that lead to legislation requiring that 75% of the National Housing Trust Fund dollars must be used to create or preserve affordable housing for low-income Americans.

Sheila’s hard-work directly benefits the folks that COTS serves.  Knowing that the NLIHC is fighting for our most vulnerable populations — children, veterans, people with disabilities — gives us hope that there will be more housing available for our Vermont neighbors in need.

Sheila continues to educate future generations on the importance of decent housing for low-income Americans through her professorship at the VCU School of Social Work and the George Mason University Department of Social Work, where she teaches classes on social justice, policy advocacy, and community organizing.

We are thankful for and humbled by Sheila’s advocacy and efforts to create affordable housing in our country.  It is a true honor to recognize her years of service.

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