Paul W. Hamann of Evanston is one of a group of people who will be honored at the White House Thursday for their efforts to combat homelessness among children and youth.

The “Champions of Change” have made extraordinary commitments, said Barbara Poppe, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, “to helping children and youth reach their full potential despite the challenges arising from the experience of homelessness,”

Hamann is president and CEO of The Night Ministry, a Chicago-based nonprofit founded in 1976, that provides housing, health care and human connection to people struggling with poverty or 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,” Poppe said.

“Evanston’s own Paul Hamann is an exceptional individual who has made a difference in the community’s way of combatting homelessness,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “Paul’s effort and commitment to fighting youth homelessness is commendable and Evanston is proud of his tireless work.”

Hamann joined The Night Ministry in 2002 as Director of Finance and Administration and has led the organization since 2007.

After graduating summa cum laude from Ohio Dominican College, he obtained two graduate degrees, one in theology with an emphasis on social justice teachings and the other in nonprofit administration. 

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.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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