Sue Rose Wins Peace & Justice Award

A press release from Patrick Murfin, Executive Director of Sunday’s Diversity Day in Woodstock’s Square:


WOODSTOCK—The 2008 Peace and Justice Award will be presented to Sue Rose, Community Service Director of the McHenry County Housing Authority at Diversity Day 2008: Democracy is Our Hope, Sunday, October 5 from 1 to 4 PM, on the Square in Woodstock.

The award will be presented around 2:30 by Alice and Bill Howenstine, the Quaker environmental and peace activists who won last year’s award.

“For years the advice ‘go see Sue Rose at the Housing Authority’ has meant hope for the homeless and those in danger of homelessness,” according to Diversity Day Executive Director Patrick Murfin. “We have never given the Peace & Justice award to a government employee, no mater how dedicated. But Sue Rose has always worked harder, gone the extra mile, to help McHenry County’s often forgotten and faceless poor.”

Rose was born in Chicago and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. She graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a BA in Sociology.

A McHenry County resident since 1981, Rose began her social work in McHenry County working with senior citizens at Royal Terrace Health Care Center (now Alden Terrace) as the Psychosocial Program Director. She also worked at Senior Services of McHenry County, where she was an elder abuse investigator and developed and administered a shared housing program that linked seniors who owned their homes with people who needed housing. This innovative program helped low-income people to share their housing expenses. While at Senior Services, Rose became a certified Advanced Case Manager, Elder Abuse Investigator, and Certified Ombudsman.

Rose joined the McHenry County Housing Authority in 1996. As Community Services Director she has been responsible for working with the homeless population, people at risk of homelessness and very low-income individuals and families that may be experiencing a temporary hardship. She has often been one of the first responders upon notification that a residential fire or other disaster has left people homeless. She received a certification as a Family and Community Development Specialist from the Illinois Community Action Agency and the University of Iowa, and she completed course work in working with the homeless population and substance abusers. For the past 12 years Rose has worked at the McHenry County Housing Authority with families in crisis situations and she has worked to ameliorate the causes of these crises. Many of the social service agencies in McHenry County look to her and the McHenry County Housing Authority for financial assistance, guidance to other resources and coordination of assistance for clients experiencing some very difficult situations.

In the words of Housing Authority Executive Director Julie Biel Claussen, “Sue is the voice for many people who have no voice.”

In addition to her work at McHenry County Housing Authority, Sue is on the Board of Directors for Consumer Credit Counseling Services of McHenry County. Her other interests include antiques, rock hunting, cats, nature and gardening.

“We are proud to induct Sue Rose into the distinguished company of Peace & Justice Award recipients,” Murfin said. “We believe this annual award has become one of the most prestigious honors in McHenry County.”

The Peace & Justice Award is presented by Diversity Day 2008, which is organized by the Congregational Unitarian Church in Woodstock with the sponsorship support of the Land Conservancy of McHenry County.


1997 – Werner Elmann, Holocaust camp liberator and human rights activist

1998 – Cindy Bloom, Native American activist

1999 – Susanne Hoban, Executive Director, Family Health Partnership Clinic

2000 – Gloria Urch, Community leader, journalist, business woman, educator

2001 – Mary Fox, Peace educator

2002 – Libby Pappalardo, McHenry County Peace Group founder

2003 – Carlos Acosta, Latino Coalition leader

2004 – Lou Ness, Former Executive Director, Turning Point

2005 – Janie Galarza, Harvard Human Relations Commission, community activist

2006 – Arielle Payne, MCC Black Student Union President, student trustee

2007 – Alice and Bill Hownstine, Quaker environmental and peace advocates

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