Jeanette Duncan, who has spent 42 years in community advocacy, has received the Isabel P. Ruiz Humanitarian Award.
Duncan, executive director for People’s Self-Help Housing, last week became the 6th recipient of the award, given annually by the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation.
The award honors local individuals for “outstanding efforts in advocacy and caring for local people.”
It also serves the purposes of honoring Ruiz and encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.
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The award was presented by foundation executive director Barry VanderKelen and Isabel Ruiz’s son, David Ruiz.
Under Duncan’s leadership, the foundation says, “many programs have been developed that benefit youth, low-income families, farm workers, seniors and the homeless.”
“She has been the guiding force in the development of 627 units of affordable housing in San Luis Obispo County, which provides quality shelter and education and wellness programs for 2,000 adults and children in 22 apartment complexes in 10 communities.”
“She works long hours, travels frequently to the east coast to secure more funding, and knows most of the residents,” the foundation said.
In 14 years, the foundation has granted more than $20 million to benefit local communities.