The David Prize is accepting submissions for its 2023–2024 Open Call.
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
- Human Rights
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.