Far too often, hard work and dedication go unrecognized. We know there are hundreds of unsung heroes working every day to help support, engage, connect, and house Arizona's most vulnerable. Each year, we thank those who take a moment to provide us with a brief story about someone you know or work with who goes above and beyond in helping to prevent and end homelessness across Arizona, either directly through service and case management support, or indirectly through programs, projects, or partnerships.

Honorees will be recognized at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon, to be held at the Annual Statewide Conference on Ending Homelessness, Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 from 12:00 to 1:30PM. 



    • Friday, August 4th, 2017 - Nominations CLOSE
    • Friday, August 11th, 2017 - Nominators & Award Recipients will be notified (no later than)
    • Monday, August 14th, 2017 - Luncheon Registration Opens (Code required for recipients, guest, and nominator; all others: $60)
    • Friday, September 22nd, 2017 - Luncheon Registration Closes
    • Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 - 12-1:30PM - Arizona Housing Coalition's Awards of Excellence Luncheon


Outstanding Achievement in Overcoming Homelessness
Awarded to an individual or family that has overcome homelessness within the last three to five years.

2017 Honoree: Ms. Jenny Coats (Our Family Services)

Past Winners: 2016 - David Garrett (went on to work at one•n•ten and Community Bridges, Inc.), Philip Pierce (went on to work at Old Pueblo Community Services), Robert Velasquez (went on to work at Native American Connections); 2015 - Eleanor Benton; 2014 - Jeanie Dailey; 2013 - Tippy Haumesser; 2012 - Debra Bond; 2011 - Kenneth Lewis (went on to work at Native American Connections); 2010 - Wes Shepherd (went on to work at Gospel Rescue Mission - Tucson); 2009 - Gary Nuese; 2008 - Gordon Block; 2007 - Noel Sharpe (went on to work at Gospel Rescue Mission - Tucson); 2006 - April Hawkins; 2005 - Heather Stewart; 2004 - Josh Mills; 2003 - Dawn Colf-Hillhouse; 2001 - William Rehm; 2000 - Joann Ponder

Volunteer of the Year
Awarded to a current volunteer (active within the last 12 months) who gives generously of their own time with people experiencing homelessness or a homeless service provider.

2017 Honoree: Social Justice Ministry Team of St. Patrick Catholic Community (Scottsdale)

Past Winners: 2016 - Debbie Middleton (Save the Family); 2015 - Father Tom Doyle (Andre House); 2014 - Dr. Rebecca Hawkins (Franciscan Renewal Center); 2013 - Jacinta Pericola (Prescott); 2012 - Glenn Fournie; 2011 - Kathy Rosenzweig; 2010 - Larry Cervarich & Elizabeth Ridenbaugh; 2009 - Jim & Jill Rich; 2008 - Bill Packard; 2007 - Jon Katov (Open Table - Paradise Valley); 2006 - Kasey Ripperger; 2005 - Dr. Jeff Martin (ABC Dental Clinic); 2004 - Mia Torrez; 2003 - Jack Dicey; 2001 - Lou Anne Nelson, Reverend Joe & Eve Nunez; 2000 - Marge & Walter Frilsnik

Liaison of the Year
Awarded to a Arizona Department of Education school liaison for homeless students who has demonstrated exemplary efforts to assist his/her school’s homeless students.

2017 Honoree: Ms. Marisa Castro (Marana Unified School District)

Past Winners: 2016 - Brandi Adams-Bressler (Legacy Traditional Schools); 2015 - Sara Sims (Phoenix Elementary School District); 2014 - Dorothy Watkins (Washington Elementary School District); 2013 - DeAnn Royster (Gilbert Public Schools); 2012 - Ronda Sharp (Concho Elementary School District); 2008 - Roxanne Richardson 

Kevin Collins Award 
Named after Mr. Kevin Collins, who was fatally wounded while working at Central Arizona Shelter Services, the Kevin Collins Award honors a direct-service staff currently employed who consistently performs above and beyond the call of duty in serving clients and working with peers and colleagues. Known for his commitment to service, Mr. Collins 
dedicated five years of faithful service at CASS, having been one of the two main shelter managers to open the now closed Men's Outreach Shelter. Mr. Collins also helped manage weekend operations of the Lodestar Day Resource Center when it first began operations in 2006. For his dedicated service to the men and women working to overcome homelessness, we present this award in his honor. 

2017 Honoree: Ms. Melissa Leathers (Save the Family)

Past Winners: 2016 - Richard Brust (Catholic Charities - Flagstaff); 2015 - Rudy Trinidad (Pasadera Behavioral Health Network - Tucson); 2014 - Skye Biasetti (U.S. Vets - Prescott); 2013 - Carmen Frederic (Prescott Area Shelter Services); 2012 - Sandi Flores (Catholic Charities - Flagstaff); 2011 - Joe Gatens (U.S. Vets - Prescott); 2010 - Wenda Meyer (Coconino County Community Services)

Past "Direct-Service Worker of the Year" and "Going the Extra Mile" Award Winners: 2009 - Geri Boss (People of Color Network); 2008 - Ben Zachariah (Central Arizona Shelter Services); 2007 - ME Misti Isley DeCaire (Veterans Helping Veterans - Payson); 2006 - Philip Stonecipher; 2005 - John Hogeboom (Community Bridges, Inc.); 2004 - The Protocol Team - Tucson; 2003 - Barbara Montrose (Community Partnership of Southern Arizona); 2001 - Rosemary Solarez (Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona); 2000 - Jeff Jirak (Maricopa County Healthcare for the Homeless)

Business Partnership
Awarded to a business that works in partnership with the non-profit community to further our goal of ending homelessness.

2017 Honoree: Sodexo

Past Winners: 2016 - Arizona Multihousing Association; 2015 - MEB Management Services; 2014 - Gorman & Company; 2013 - Dignity Health; 2012 - HOM, Inc.; 2011 - Nancy Bills, Biltmore Properties, Inc.; 2010 - Downtown Business Partnership; 2008 - Bougainvillea Golf Course; 2007 - The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess; 2006 - Tucson Originals; 2005 - The Marshall Foundation's Main Gate Square; 2004 - Valley Dental Equipment Company; 2003 - First Congregational Church of Tempe and Law Offices of Snell & Wilmer

Advocate of the Year
Awarded to an individual or group whose advocacy work on behalf of people experiencing homelessness has contributed to systems-level change.

2017 Honoree: Flagstaff Front Door Collaborative

Past Winners: 2016 - Representative Lela Alston (LD-24); 2015 - David Bridge (Human Services Campus/Lodestar Day Resource Center); 2014 - Mattie Lord (UMOM New Day Centers); 2013 - Mayor Greg Stanton & Vice Mayor Jodi Liggett (City of Phoenix); 2012 - Ann-Eve Pederson (Arizona Education Association); 2010 - J. David Barkley (Huachuca United Methodist Church); 2009 - Wendy White (Flagstaff Shelter Services); 2008 - Geraldine "Gerri" Mattern (Mental Heath Attorney/Advocate); 2007 - TriAdvocates; 2006 - Keith McHenry (Food Not Bombs); 2005 - Jim Richardson (U of A University Medical Center) and Judge Michael Pollard (City of Tucson); 2004 - Tempe Mental Health Court; 2003 - Darlene Newsom (UMOM New Day Centers); 2001 - George Notarpole and Craig Borsheim; 2000 - Terry Goddard (Arizona HUD)

Past "Policymaker of the Year" Award Winners: 2011 - Councilman Tom Simplot (City of Phoenix - District 4); 2010 - Councilwoman Shana Ellis (City of Tempe); 2009 - Gloria Hurtado (City of Phoenix Human Services Department); 2007 - State Representative Robert Meza (LD-14) & State Senator Debbie McCune Davis (LD-14); 2006 - State Representative Pete Hershberger (LD-26); 2005 - David Smith (Maricopa County Manager); 2001 - State Representative John Loredo (LD-13)

Five Star Leader
Awarded to a person or organization who/that demonstrated exemplary service as a champion of Veterans experiencing homelessness.

2017 Honoree: Mr. Anthony Irby (Veterans Benefits Administration)

Past Winners: 2016 - Director Michael Trailor (Arizona Department of Housing); 2015 - Steve Cohen (Southern AZ VA Health Care Systems); 2014 - John Scott II (U.S. Vets - Phoenix); 2013 - Melvin Brody; 2012 - Terry Araman (Madison Street Veteran Association); 2011 - Nick Jones (Old Pueblo Community Services); 2010 - Colonel Joey Strickland (Arizona Department of Veterans' Services)

Lifetime Achievement
Awarded to an individual whose contributions have brought us closer to eliminating homelessness in Arizona.

2017 Honoree: Mr. Arthur Sloane (Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance)

Past Winners: 2016 - Cheryl Anderson (Posthumous - Marc Community Resources); 2015 - Karia Basta (Arizona Department of Housing); 2014 - Barbara Montrose (Community Partnership of Southern Arizona); 2013 - Gail Loose (Posthumous - Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development); 2012 - Michael McQuaid (Human Services Campus); 2011 - Kevin Murphy (Labor's Community Service Agency); 2010 - Kenneth Einbinder (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development); 2009 - Guy Mikkelsen (Foundation for Senior Living); 2008 - Ben Wenke (Crossroads Nogales Rescue Mission); 2007 - W. Mark Clark (CODAC Behavioral Health Services); 2006 - Alfred & Rhoda Falk (Project Aware - Prescott); 2005 - Karen Novachek (Lutheran Advocacy Ministries); 2004 - Fred Karnas (Arizona Department of Housing); 2003 - Mary Orton (Central Arizona Shelter Services); 2001 - Terry Cook (City of Phoenix Human Services Department); 2000 - Victor Hudenko (Arizona Department of Economic Security)

Thank you for taking the time to help ensure we recognize the hard work of those serving Arizona's most vulnerable. 

Arizona Housing Coalition (formerly AZCEH) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization | Federal Tax ID#: 86-0909029 | CONTACT
AZHC is also the proud coordinator of the Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance

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