The Virtual Reaching Home Awards Celebration
Wednesday, June 8th, 2022
from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Each year, the Partnership for Strong Communities (PSC) invites people to come together to present the prestigious Reaching Home Awards. The awards are presented to individuals and groups that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to preventing and ending homelessness in Connecticut.
We will join together over Zoom with distinguished awardees to recognize their accomplishments and the work of so many to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut. Meet this year's awardees and read their biographies here.
This year, we’ll also come together to celebrate the work of the Reaching Home Campaign over the last 18 years. Earlier this month, PSC announced that we are concluding our formal work supporting Reaching Home and sharpening our focus on preventing housing insecurity and homelessness by addressing the urgent issues with affordable housing in Connecticut. Read the full statement and our path forward here. During the event, we will hear from collective impact partners and celebrate the cumulative success of the Reaching Home Campaign effort.
We are so looking forward to gathering virtually to celebrate together.
The 2022 Reaching Home Award Categories
Carol Walter Housing Tenant Award
This award recognizes two housing tenants who show commitment to advocacy for permanent housing solutions, exhibit leadership skills, and work to make their community a better place. The award is named in honor of Carol Walter, a much-loved Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. A respected advocate in the area of housing and homelessness, Carol was passionate and tireless in her work to end homelessness.
Diane Randall Leadership Award
This 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. The award recognizes Diane Randall, the first Executive Director of the Partnership for Strong Communities. Under Diane’s leadership, the Partnership advocated for more than $400M of funding from the CT General Assembly for supportive and affordable housing, launched the Reaching Home Campaign and served as a leading voice for housing opportunity, homelessness elimination and the creation of vibrant communities.
State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division
Gary Roberge, Executive Director, CT Judicial Branch
Michael Aiello, Program Manager II, Residential Placement Service
Tasha Hunt, Deputy Director of Juvenile Probation
Sheron Green, Juvenile Matters Supervisor
Reverend Richard Schuster Advocacy Award
This 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. The award honors Dick Schuster for his work advancing and advocating for supportive housing. Dick made ending homelessness his life’s work for over forty years, leading St. Luke’s LifeWorks as Executive Director for twenty-two years. A founder of the CT Coalition to End Homelessness and the CT AIDS Resource Coalition, Dick was also a founding member of the Reaching Home Steering Committee which he chaired for three years.
Jamie Ortiz-Cordoba, Youth Consultant
Kendrick Pozzo, Youth Consultant
Barbara Geller Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual who has worked 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 a person who stands above the crowd over decades of truly extraordinary work toward ending and preventing homelessness in Connecticut. The Barbara Geller Career Achievement Award was first given in 2015 to Barbara to honor her for her longstanding commitment, passion and accomplishments in providing supportive housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness. Recipients of the award will embody the spirit that made Barbara an unforgettable friend and colleague: her leadership, guidance, and inspiration, all unfailingly delivered with grace, good humor and respect for everyone. Awardee names will be added to the commemorative plaque housed at Geller Commons in Hamden, an affordable and supportive housing development named in Barbara’s honor.
Rev. Bonita Grubbs, Executive Director, Christian Community Action
Thank you to our generous sponsors.
The Carol Walter Housing Tenant Award:
2021 - Teth Pickens and Antwayn Riggs
2020 - Ronald Buxton
2019 - Joe White and Cathy Kriss
2018 - Faith Mack & Carla Witmer
2017 - Willie Thomas Miller, Jr. & Natalie Garcia
2016 - Joseph "Gypsy" Grillo & Joseph Sicilia
2014 - Shumra Chambers & Anastasia Chamiec
2013 - Michael Rose & Ray Spur
The Diane Randall Leadership Award:
2021 - Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, Jessica Arroyo, and Phil Costello
2020 - Dan Shetler
2019 - Anne Foley
2018 - Middlesex County Community Care Team & Terri DiPietro
2017 - Kathy Hunter, Carla Miklos, & Carmen Colon
2016 - Frontline team to end Veterans homelessness
2015 - Adam Bovilsky & David Rich
2013 - Betsy Crum
The Reverend Richard Schuster Advocacy Award:
2021 - Stacey Violante-Cote
2020 - Sarah Fox
2019 - Leigh Duffy
2018 - Caitlin Mongillo & Justin Williams
2017 - Paula Crombie
2016 - Lydia Brewster
2014 - Helen Lavin
2013 - Dave Martineau
The Barbara Geller Career Achievement Award:
2021 - Paul Kosowsky
2020 - Richard Porth
2018 - Sharon L. Castelli
2017 - Allison Cunningham
2015 - Barbara Geller