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Greg Winter Receives WSBA's Local Hero Award │ Jan. 18, 2018

Updated: March 17, 2021

Opportunity Council Executive Director recognized for his tireless advocacy for the homeless in Whatcom County

SEATTLE — The Washington State Bar Association today presented Greg Winter with its Local Hero Award, in recognition of his dedication to eradicate homelessness and poverty in Whatcom County. The Local Hero Award is given to those who have made noteworthy contributions to their communities. WSBA President Bradford Furlong presented the award at a luncheon in Bellingham on Jan. 18. Winter was nominated by the Whatcom County Bar Association. 

“Greg Winter is the epitome of civic responsibility and advocacy,” said Whatcom County Bar President Lisa Saar. “He was a key leader in the successful Bellingham Home Fund Campaign, which made Bellingham the second city in Washington to establish a voter-passed local housing levy. The fund will generate $21 million over seven years for affordable housing in Bellingham.”

Winter is the executive director of Opportunity Council, a nonprofit serving homeless and low-income families and individuals. Its mission is to help people improve their lives through education, support, and direct assistance while advocating for just and equitable communities. For 50 years, the Opportunity Council has offered a broad scope of services that range from addressing immediate and crisis-oriented needs to longer-term programs that promote self-sufficiency in the community.

Winter works closely with the Whatcom County legal community, including work with Northwest Justice Project, most recently in a joint effort to rescue a low-income affordable housing complex that was at risk of being sold to a private owner who would be able to raise rents to the market rate. He also serves as a member of the Whatcom County Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Taskforce, working with fellow Taskforce members and Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis to develop more housing supports for Drug Court participants who are homeless. In addition, Winter serves on the board for North Sound Accountable Community of Health and the Chuckanut Health Foundation, and he cofounded the Kulshan Community Land Trust in 1999.

“I know of no greater advocate for our homeless population than Greg,” said Steven P. Adelstein, a Bellingham attorney and civic leader. “Greg is a champion for the homeless and underprivileged in our community. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

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About the Washington State Bar Association

The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.