|HUD No. 12-65
Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
July 11, 2012
WHITE HOUSE HONORS TWO LOCAL ADVOCATES AS "CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE" IN THE FIGHT AGAINST YOUTH HOMELESSNESS
New Yorker Carl Siciliano and New Jerseyan Frank Cirillo Honored
NEW YORK, NY - On Thursday, July 12, the White House will honor Carl Siciliano and Frank Cirillo, who are among thirteen individuals nationwide who have made a significant difference in the way their communities combat homelessness among children and youth as "Champions of Change."
"Today's Champions of Change have made extraordinary commitments to helping children and youth reach their full potential despite the challenges arising from the experience of homelessness," said Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. "The efforts of these Champions, and others like them across the country, are critical to achieving our goal of preventing and ending homelessness for families, youth and children by 2020, and ensuring that every child has a safe and stable place to call home."
"It is truly an honor for our region to have two Champions of Change," said Mirza Orriols, HUD Acting Regional Administrator." Both Carl Siciliano and Frank Cirillo possess the characteristics of all great leaders: passion, commitment, intelligence, and the ability to inspire others. Their energy and enthusiasm has lead them to transform and improve the lives of a very vulnerable population and we are all grateful for the time and effort they have devoted to this cause."
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities
To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live (www.whitehouse.gov/live) at 1:30 pm ET on July 12th.
A narrative of Mr. Siciliano and Mr. Cirillo's contributions are below:
Carl Siciliano is a nationally recognized advocate and provider for homeless LGBT youth and has been dedicated to this population since 1994. He began his career helping to manage shelters, soup kitchens, and residential programs for homeless individuals in New York, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut. His programs have been widely recognized for their quality and innovation. In 2002, Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC), which has grown to become the nation's largest and most comprehensive housing program for homeless LGBT youth. In 2002, he was named by OUT Magazine as one of the 100 Outstanding Gay Achievers. His work was recognized by the Stonewall Democrats of NYC in 2006, and in 2007 he was awarded the Brooke Astor Service Award, which is given to those who are relentless in their dedication to the city of New York and who have contributed substantially to its enrichment. Today Siciliano continues to fight for the rights and empowerment of homeless LGBT youth through the growth and outreach of the Ali Forney Center. For more information about Siciliano, please contact Cathy Renna (firstname.lastname@example.org) at (917) 757-6123.
Frank Cirillo is a graduate of Rider University and the Director of the Mercer County Board of Social Services (MCBOSS). He has over 40 years of experience at MCBOSS in administering a variety of social service programs, including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, NJSNAP (Food Stamp Program), General Assistance, Adult Protective Services, Work First New Jersey (WFNJ), and Child Support. Under his direction, MCBOSS has continued and expanded upon its tradition of developing strong and effective governmental and community partnerships in implementing program reforms and advocating for new and creative efforts in addressing the challenges confronting poor and working poor individuals and families. Additionally, Cirillo encouraged and supported the testing of rapid re-housing, a new and innovative approach to responding to family homelessness in Mercer County. It has led to a reduction of 32% in family homelessness on any given day. Cirillo currently serves as president of the County Welfare Directors Association of New Jersey. He is a member of the Mercer County Alliance to End Homelessness, the New Jersey Child Support Council, and the New Jersey Hunger Coalition. Additionally, he serves on numerous intergovernmental and community boards and organizations, and served twelve years as a councilman for the City of Trenton, including four years as Council President (1999-2002). For more information about Cirillo you may contact him at his office at (609) 989-4494 or on his cell at (609) 915-3171.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.