Leano honored with inaugural Joseph M. Lyons award

Claremont City Council member Jed Leano received the inaugural Joseph M. Lyons Award for Homelessness Advocacy on Wednesday from the San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Homelessness. The award, named for former Claremont City Council member and longtime advocate for the unhoused Joseph Lyons, who died at 77 on December 8, was presented at the consortium’s housing summit at Tau Chi Buddhist Foundation Campus in San Dimas. Courier photo/Matt Weinberger

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Homelessness selected Claremont City Council member Jed Leano as the recipient of its inaugural Joseph M. Lyons memorial award.

Leano was honored at the San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Homelessness’ annual housing summit on Wednesday at the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation campus in San Dimas.

“The award’s recipient, Claremont City Council member Jed Leano, is a regional leader in addressing the current housing and homelessness crises,” said Lee Kane, program director for the consortium, in a statement.

“I am so grateful to the SGV Consortium for honoring me, and the most special part of it was that Joe’s wife Sharyn and son Matthew could be there,” Leano wrote in a text message.

Lyons was first elected to the Claremont City Council in 2011, was mayor in 2014 and served until 2018. He died December 8.

“Lyons was a staunch advocate for affordable housing services for the unhoused,” Kane said. “In two terms on the Claremont City Council, Lyons was the leading voice for the need to build housing and service infrastructure for people experiencing homelessness.”

In selecting Leano for the award the consortium highlighted his work in Claremont advocating for affordable housing and services for the unhoused, both in Claremont and the region. The group cited Leano’s work as chair of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust, and of Tri-City Mental Health among the reasons he was chosen. He was also part of the working group that formed SB 679, creating the LA County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency.

“It is so difficult to accurately measure the impact Joe Lyons had on homelessness advocacy,” Leano said. “Joe was critical to passing Measure H, which allocates half a billion dollars in LA County for housing and supportive services. He founded Housing Claremont, from which several other grassroots housing movements began. And he chaired the SGV Consortium on Homelessness, which brings together all the region’s NGO service providers and advocates. As chair he secured the Consortium’s long-term funding, and yesterday, the Consortium’s Housing Summit had over 250 people in attendance. That, and so much more is because of Joe’s work. The best way I can think of honoring his legacy is continuing the hard work of building housing for our unhoused neighbors.”

In addition to Leano, speakers at the event included Jenna Hornstock, Los Angeles planning commissioner, Tish Kelly, senior vice president with Jamboree Housing Corporation, and Paul Cho, chief financial officer at LifeArk.


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