--- Issued January 17, 2016
John E. Horan, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Erie, was given the Martin Luther King Award at the 6th Annual Dr. King Awards Dinnner Saturday, January 16 at the Bayfront Convention Center.
The name of the celebration was "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?"
Shown above, with Bishop Dwayne Brock, Housing Authority treasurer, are three former Housing Authority residents who graduated from college and were participants in the Housing Authority Summer Internship Program initiated by John E. Horan. From left are Jamal Sharif, Bishop Brock, Patreece Johnson and Shatreece Johnson. They are among the 105 Housing Authority residents, ages 18 to 22, who since 2007 have – through their hard work and positive choices – gone to college and been awarded paid summer internships with the Housing Authority and their social services partners.
Horan was not able to attend the event and his award was accepted by Housing Authority Board Member Bishop Dwayne Brock, pastor of the Victory Christian Center.
In his acceptance speech, Bishop Brock referred to Horan as "a true and unmatched visionary" who had made a difference in the lives of many, many people.
He said that under Horan's leadership, community policing and social service programs have helped to make Housing Authority neighborhoods "the safest" in town.
Statistics support this: Over the past 12 years, the Authority under Horan has reduced crime by nearly 60 percent in low income areas.
Horan has shown his commitment to the voluntary system of human services for more than 40 years by leading and participating in organizations and causes that provide services and opportunities for the entire Erie community, and particularly for the children of low-income families.
His volunteer efforts have resulted in contributions of more than $800,000 for various charitable causes that benefit adults and children of Erie County.
Horan was one of four founding volunteer members of the Ellen Curry Foundation, established in 1996 to enhance and improve the general education level of children of lower income families residing in the City of Erie.
Horan helped set up the Foundation to act as the umbrella organization for the Ellen Curry Scholarships and the Louis J. Tullio Memorial Scholarships.
Horan is the chairman and sole fundraiser for the Foundation.Since these scholarships began in the 1998-99 school year, 120 children have been awarded a total of $458,285 in Ellen Curry Scholarships. These scholarships are funded by private donations to the Ellen Curry Foundation.
Since 1998 when the program began, $91,000 in college scholarships has been awarded through the Louis J. Tullio Memorial Scholarships.
Brock has often said, "Leaders of public bodies and social service agencies all know that Mr. Horan has a way of obtaining “buy-in” by both the rank and file as well as leaders for causes that benefit the community and various non-profit agencies.
“If John Horan backs a cause, it must be a good one. When he sets a course, other volunteers are sure to follow.
"I can’t think of a fund raising effort that he has supported that hasn’t been a success. Whether it’s for education of low income children, the arts, the United Way, March of Dimes, John knows how to get the job done for those in need and those who need affordable housing."