|HUD No. 06-092
August 1, 2006
HUD SECRETARY HOSTS EVENT TO RAISE ADOPTION AWARENESS
HUD houses Freddie Mac Foundation Heart Gallery
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today hosted a kickoff event for the Freddie Mac Foundation Heart Gallery in the HUD Caf� auditorium. The traveling exhibit features professional portraits of 48 foster children in the DC region who are in need of adoptive homes.
"Here at HUD, our goal is to see that everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home," said Secretary Jackson. "These children are in need of homes, so we are happy to host the Freddie Mac Foundation Heart Gallery in hopes they will be given a chance to become part of a family. Homes have heartbeats, and those heartbeats come from children."
Freddie Mac participants Maxine Baker, President and CEO of the Freddie Mac Foundation, and Dwight Robinson, the Senior Vice President, joined Secretary Jackson for the event. Mr. Robinson offered remarks during the ceremony.
The purpose of the Heart Gallery is to put these children?s faces in the public eye, find them permanent homes, and raise awareness of the plight of more than 500 foster children in the DC region. As of today, 18 children are on their way to adoption because of the display.
Forty renowned local photographers, including photojournalists from the Washington Post and Washington Times, volunteered their time to take artistic photographs of the featured children. The portraits are paired with short descriptions of the child, along with their talents and interests. Take-away postcards are also provided, with information on how to begin the adoption process and other ways to help a foster child.
The Heart Gallery made its debut at Union Station on November 1, 2005. Since then, it has appeared at the John A. Wilson Building, the Russell Senate Building, the Ronal Reagan Building and a number of other venues to maximize the exposure of these children, and increase their chances of finding a permanent home. As children become adopted, their portraits are taken down to make room for new faces. The display will be featured at HUD headquarters until August 18.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.