Partnership for Strong Communities, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness through policy and advocacy work, announced today the award recipients for their annual Reaching Home Housing Awards Dinner. The Reaching Home Dinner celebrates the collaborative successes of Connecticut’s housing advocates, leaders, and organizations, and the enormous progress made in preventing and ending homelessness across the state.
The award recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven, CT on Thursday, June 14, 2018.
“These exceptional individuals help lead the charge to prevent and end homelessness through their tireless work and activities,” said Alicia Woodsby, Partnership for Strong Communities Executive Director. “The amount of effort is nothing short of awe-inspiring, and most importantly has moved the needle on putting an end to homelessness as evidenced in the reduction of homelessness numbers. We are excited to celebrate these individuals and inspire further successes.”
The annual event brings together hundreds of policymakers, advocates, and service providers, and features awards and recognition for professionals who have strived to provide new homes and vital services to those who have experienced homelessness, and provided those who have fallen on difficult times the ability to return to or find new homes, work, education, training, and reconnection with friends and family.
“Now, more than ever, we need courageous risk-takers and bold innovators at the local level to demonstrate that change is possible,” said the evening’s keynote speaker, Rafael Lopez, a former Obama Administration official, of the award recipients. “No one person, organization, agency or business can end homelessness on its own. We must strengthen our partnerships across sectors to generate solutions that change the lives of those we serve.”
2018 Award Recipients
2018 Carol Walter Housing Tenant Award recipients are Faith Mack, of New Reach’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program, and Carla Witmer, of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown’s Next Steps Program. The Carol Walter Housing Tenant Awards recognize two housing tenants who show commitment to advocacy for permanent housing solutions, exhibit leadership skills, and work to make their community a better place.
2018 Diane Randall Leadership Award recipient is the Middlesex County Community Care Team (CCT). The Diane Randall Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group who demonstrate(s) exemplary leadership in the public or private sector by promoting systems change, policies and funding that create solutions to prevent and end homelessness.
2018 Rev. Richard Schuster Advocacy Award recipients are Caitlin Mongillo and Justin Williams, both of Career Resources. The Rev. Richard Schuster Advocacy Award recognizes a professional or volunteer who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to raising awareness about the needs of individuals and families currently/in danger of experiencing homelessness, using either legislative or client-centered advocacy. Either through direct work with people experiencing homelessness, managing local programs, or organizing advocacy, they’ve had a strong and positive impact in efforts to end homelessness.
2018 Barbara Geller Lifetime Career Achievement Award recipient is Sharon L. Castelli, Chief Executive Officer at Chrysalis Center, Inc. The Barbara Geller Lifetime Career Achievement Award recognizes special individuals who work tirelessly throughout their lifetime or career to help people experiencing homelessness to find housing and support, reconnect with family and friends, and reach their full potential. This award goes to people who stand above the crowd over decades of truly extraordinary work toward ending and preventing homelessness in Connecticut.
In addition to the annual awards, the 2018 Reaching Home Housing Awards will include a special recognition of Commissioner Evonne Klein of the Connecticut Department of Housing for all of her leadership and contributions to the Reaching Home campaign efforts.
About the Reaching Home Housing Awards Dinner
The Reaching Home Campaign is the campaign to end homelessness in Connecticut. The Reaching Home Housing Awards Dinner celebrates the campaign's collective successes and the partners who have made these achievements possible. This year’s event will feature an awards presentation honoring individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond in the work of the Reaching Home Campaign, plus a social hour on the Anthony's Ocean View beach-side patio, a silent auction, and the Youth Action Hub's PhotoVoice exhibit. The MC for the evening will be Renee DiNino of iHeart Radio. A special keynote will be given by Rafael López, Managing Director for Accenture’s Health & Public Service practice in North America, and former Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a role to which he was nominated by President Obama. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Javier Colon, winner of the inaugural season of NBC's The Voice, will provide us with a special musical performance during the event.