Finalist

Shams DaBaron

Advocating for homeless New Yorkers by working with advocates, elected officials, shelter providers, non-profits, and policymakers to build more housing and knock out the roots of homelessness

Black and white photograph of Shams DaBaron, an advocate fighting for dignified housing for people experiencing houselessness
Year
2021
Sector
Human Rights
Borough
Manhattan
Black and white photograph of Shams DaBaron, an advocate fighting for dignified housing for people experiencing houselessness

Shams, dubbed “Da Homeless Hero,” knows NYC’s homeless system from the inside, having experienced homelessness since the age of 10, even raising his son in the family shelter system toward graduation and a high school diploma. Shams has led the conversation regarding the Lucerne Hotel, designated a temporary shelter during the pandemic to public outcry. Whether brokering mayoral conversations or detailing the policies and services necessary to support vulnerable New Yorkers, Shams is a relentless advocate, speaking with those directly impacted, elected officials, faith leaders — anyone who will listen. He’s a bridge builder, a strong voice at the table, and the accountability watchdog the city didn’t know it needed.

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