Honoring Hazel Weissby Representative Barbara Lee
Posted on 2013-02-08
in the house of representatives
Friday, February 8, 2013
Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the
extraordinary career of Hazel Weiss as she retires from 29 years of
service to the people of Alameda County, including her tireless efforts
to provide permanent supportive housing and services for those in need.
I join our community in celebrating the many ways in which her life's
work has contributed to the success and wellbeing of countless people
throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
Holding a bachelor's degree in American Social Organization, a Master of Arts in Health Services Administration, and a Master of Science in Assistance Dog Education, Ms. Weiss has shaped a multi-faceted career, which has never ceased to offer creative solutions for vulnerable populations.
Over the course of nearly three decades working with Alameda County, Ms. Weiss served as Senior Program Specialist for the Health Care Services Agency's Alcohol and Drug Programs Department; she was instrumental in creating sober living environments as Program Director for the Alameda County Shelter Plus Care Program; and was the Community Development Agency's Housing and Community Development Manager.
Moreover, as Director of the National Shelter Plus Care Coalition, which she initiated in 1999, Ms. Weiss oversaw 300 national members advocating to secure full federal renewal funding to permanently house and support homeless people with disabilities. Among her myriad commitments, she administered funding for Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) and served as a member of the Ryan White Care Act Community Care Planning Council.
For many years, Ms. Weiss also served on the Planning Committee of Alameda County's annual Disability Employment conference, as well as on a variety of committees, commissions, and nonprofit boards of directors to promote disability awareness and the equal treatment of persons with disabilities. Ms. Weiss exercised the rare talent of fulfilling local needs while also promoting advocacy on a national scale. Her nationally recognized work in Supportive Housing for homeless people made her a familiar face at the Federal level, calling for increased funding and support.
On a personal note, I was always impressed by Hazel's passion and vitality during her many visits to my Washington, DC office accompanied by her service dogs, first Hams, and later, Virgil. She is truly a remarkable woman who has gone above and beyond in working to make universal access to care and housing a reality for all.
Her dedication to improving others' lives is evident from her countless community affiliations and activities, including her personal commitment to the City of Berkeley Commission on Disability, the Disability Constituency Committee for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, and the Board of Directors of Community Resources for Independent Living. In addition to being a published author, an adjunct faculty member and lecturer, and a volunteer for dog-related therapeutic programs, Ms. Weiss has spent her career leading bold initiatives for the common good. She has truly created pathways out of poverty while being a champion for equal opportunity and human dignity each day.
On behalf of the residents of California's 13th Congressional District, Ms. Hazel Weiss, I salute you for 29 years of outstanding service to Alameda County and people across this great nation. I congratulate and thank you for your unparalleled service to our community. You have touched many lives in profound ways throughout your career, and we wish you and your loved ones continued prosperity and happiness as you transition to this exciting new chapter of life.