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Reverend Ann E. Helmke receives National Public Citizen of the Year Award

NASW recognizes her exemplary work on behalf of the homeless

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) announced that Reverend Ann E. Helmke is recipient of its 2014 National Public Citizen of the Year Award for the tremendous contributions she has made serving people who are often marginalized in our society, including those who are homeless or victims of abuse.

"Reverend Helmke is a champion in the community where her social services center provides immediate help to the homeless, victims of abuse, and many others," said NASW Chief Executive Officer Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LICSW. "Her compassion continues to lift those who might be disenfranchised up from poverty and pain. We applaud her."

Renowned for her San Antonio Gang Peace Summit and seminars, Reverend Ann Helmke is an ordained Lutheran minister who takes a multi-faceted approach to complex issues, like inter-group violence. Through lessons learned on this project and others, Rev. Helmke founded peaceCENTER, a program that promotes written and graphic expressions of peace in homes. As Director of Spiritual Services at the Haven for Hope homeless shelter, Helmke provides support as well as help with mental health and substance abuse prevention issues.

The NASW National Public Citizen of the Year award honors an outstanding member of the community whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of professional social work. The award recipient is nominated by social workers but is not a social worker.


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 130,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.