State Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) named longtime housing advocate Reverend Dr. Carmen Porco as a “Hometown Hero” in a ceremony during Thursday’s session of the State Assembly.
“Carmen Porco is greatly deserving of the Hometown Hero award for his incredible dedication to addressing housing needs here in Wisconsin, and for his work within low-income communities,” Sargent said in a statement. “Rev. Porco has selflessly dedicated his life and work to fighting for just and equal opportunities, and has changed the lives of many.”
Porco is executive director of Housing Ministries of American Baptists in Wisconsin, a partner of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Community Outreach Ministries. He has been recognized for combining the elements of the nonprofit, business and government sectors into a successful model for use in communities of poverty.
The Wisconsin Anti-Poverty Model has been implemented in 805 units of Section 8 housing in Milwaukee and Madison. The model offers unique resources, programs and services, and opportunities for low-income communities.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been influenced by the model, which Porco has applied in six low-income housing communities in Madison and Milwaukee.
Last year, the Center on Business and Poverty, a nonprofit organization housed at the University of Oxford in England, named an endowed faculty chair in sustainable business for Porco.
“Carmen’s work is more than just affordable housing,” Sargent said. “He provides community learning centers, education programs, and tenant jobs running the apartment complex. …. In short, his work and dedication to Wisconsin communities has been nothing less than life-changing, and I am proud to honor his service to our state.”