|Vol. 7, Nos. 3 & 4||
On Delivery of Legal Assistance to Older Persons
As we stated in the previous issue of Best Practice Notes, a special highlight of the Joint Conference on Law & Aging (JCLA) each year is the Awards Luncheon, at which the Arthur S. Flemming Award and the Paul Lichterman Award are presented. In 1995, the Lichterman Award went to Wilma Salmon Legal Services Developer for Louisiana, and the Flemming Award to Samuel J. Simmons, President of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged (NCBA). Below we pay tribute to Samuel Simmons, the Flemming Award recipient.
The Flemming Award was created in 1988 by the Sponsors of JCLA. Its purpose is to honor the late Dr. Arthur Flemming's contributions to the broad field of law, aging, and social policy; and to recognize the focus public appreciation on individuals like Dr. Flemming who, at the national level, have demonstrated outstanding commitment, accomplishments, personal vision, and creative use of law and public policy to enhance the lives of older persons throughout the country. Mr. Samuel Simmons is most deserving of this award.
Mr. Simmons is a quiet, serious and dedicated organizer and leader. He understands that change takes place only though conviction, dedication, systematic planning, perseverance, and a keen attention to detail. Using these skills, Mr. Simmons has served as President of NCBA since 1982, and has helped it to become the nation's major service and advocacy organization working on behalf of the Black elderly.
NCBA currently administers programs that provide employment to more than 2,000 low-income elderly in seventeen states and the District of Columbia, and has developed six housing projects, sheltering 369 low-income elderly families, and more importantly, empowering them. Through NCBA, Mr. Simmons has also striven to improve Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits levels for low-income elderly, and continues to be involved in health care reform. Mr. Simmons works every day to make adequate income and housing a reality for older African American men and women.
Immediately prior to joining NCBA, Mr. Simmons served as President of the National Center for Housing Management (NCHM), an organization created to provide leadership in meeting the nation's housing management training needs. Among the achievements of NCHM is the development of the only certification system for managers of housing for the elderly. From 1969 to 1972, Mr. Simmons served as Assistant Secretary for Equal Opportunity of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, where he was responsible for the administration of Federal Fair Housing Law and regulations. Previously, he served as Director of Field Operations for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in federal and state agencies concerned with the administration of labor relations and equal opportunity laws. These and his many other achievements have made Mr. Simmons truly worthy of this award. Congratulations!
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