“Poverty and homelessness spans across all different demographics,” Adele McClure said. “Anyone could be one paycheck away from being homeless.”
Adele knows firsthand what it’s like to grow up in poverty and periodic homelessness. That’s why as an adult she’s dedicated both her career and her volunteer time to issues related to housing, including joining the Alliance for Housing Solutions’ board of directors in January.
She was first introduced to AHS through Dave Leibson, a long-time board member. The two had worked together on Arlington’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, and Dave asked her to participate in the 2018 Leckey Forum hosted by AHS. The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and explored how the history of discrimination still has an impact on Arlington today. Adele agreed to serve on the Voices of Our Future panel.
“The fact that this was being discussed in Arlington was a big deal,” she said. “Many people shy away from talking about housing discrimination, but the effects of past discriminatory housing practices still exist.”
She said many people have preconceived notions about those who experience poverty, blaming their circumstances on poor decisions or lack of education. In fact, “there are systemic barriers” that have an impact on whether they become homeless.
Arlington is unique in the number of partnerships and resources available to people, but there is more to be done. Adele would like to see more wraparound services—and more affordable housing for people who can’t afford current market rates.
“We need to take care of our most vulnerable,” she said.
In addition to her service on the AHS board, Adele serves as a member of the HomeAgain Board in Richmond, the Governor's Coordinating Council on Homelessness, the Arlington County Continuum of Care Leadership Board, and the VCU Alumni Association Board of Governors. She previously served as a member of the Arlington Community Services Board (CSB) and the Arlington CSB Substance Use Disorder Committee, as an Arlington County Election Officer and a consumer member on the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia Board of Directors, and as an Executive Committee member of the Arlington 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.
Adele was recently recognized for her work when she was named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the law and policy category.
She previously served as the Policy Director in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Adele has also worked for Deloitte Consulting, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).
Raised in Alexandria, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in economics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 and moved to Arlington shortly after graduation.