Individuals and Organizations Who Made a Difference to People Experiencing Homelessness

Each year individuals and organizations are recognized for their efforts in serving people who are experiencing homelessness. Those recognized have gone above and beyond to help people make a positive change in their lives. The following individuals are winners of the 2018 Utah Homelessness Summit Awards.

Partnership Award

Association for Utah Community Health, The Community Foundation of Utah and Fourth Street Clinic

Association for Utah Community Health, The Community Foundation of Utah and Fourth Street Clinic worked together to create the Nurse Care Management Program, bringing a higher level of interagency cooperation to Salt Lake City. In April 2018, registered nurses and community health workers were placed at First Step House, YWCA-Utah, The Road Home, Volunteers of America-Utah and the Housing Authority of Salt Lake to help better serve clients who needed medical attention, but were unable to travel for routine medical care. They have already treated hundreds of new patients, improving their health and quality of life.

Innovator Awards


Switchpoint Homeless Shelter and Community Resource Center is innovative in how they go beyond providing emergency beds and meals for people. Switchpoint operates 24/7 and takes an individual approach with each person who walks through their doors. There are no handouts at Switchpoint; everyone is expected to earn the things they need by doing their part and taking care of the facility. Clients can work in the on-site thrift store and doggy day care, which helps Switchpoint to be self-sustaining like they hope their clients will be.

Volunteers of America, Utah

Volunteers of America, Utah (VOA) in a partnership with the Department of Workforce Services is operating an employment internship program for homeless youth at a new place called Maud's Café. Homeless youth ages 18-24 work as interns for an 8-12-week training program to help them develop better job skills. The training teaches youth marketable skills to become excellent employees as they transition into permanent employment. Since opening in January 2018, five youth have graduated from the Maud’s Café training program. All five graduates moved on to permanent employment or have continued their education.

Leadership Awards

Matilda Lindgreen – The INN Between

Matilda offers a unique blend of structure and support for a highly vulnerable population that faces recuperative care or end of life decisions. She often deals with individuals who have no family to be with at the end of their lives, and tries to locate family of those she can. Matilda is often seen at the INN Between late at night or on the weekends when someone's health is declining. She offers the warmness of a home environment and a caring friend, by sitting with them, holding a hand and listening when someone needs it most. 

Renee Raso – Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments

Renee recently recognized that homeless individuals in the community were underserved, so she wrote a grant to provide housing for homeless individuals, and to help them get on the path to self-sufficiency. Renee always greets her clients with a smile, a water bottle, a snack and a bag filled with necessities like body wash wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant. Renee works diligently with community partners in an effort to provide safe housing and employment opportunities. Dedication  Her clients can reach her at all hours, and no matter what obstacle they face, Renee will work with them to find a solution.

Case Manager Awards

Emily Boman – Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake

With new grant funding available, Emily Boman formed the Housing Authority’s new Supportive-Housing Approaches that Impact Lives (SAIL) that focuses on helping clients find affordable housing. Her positive “can-do” attitude and exceptional leadership qualities resulted in incredible client outcomes as she helped individuals quickly get into homes, even in this extremely tight housing market. Under her guidance, the SAIL team was able to expand and provide additional supportive housing to more individuals than they had initially anticipated. 

Fatima R. Sandberg – Utah Community Action

Fatima embodies all that is required to be a good case manager and takes her responsibilities to her clients seriously. Fatima assists individuals, families, seniors and disabled individuals in obtaining safe and affordable housing and facilitating timely social and financial interventions based on client needs. Fatima currently works as a case manager helping families in Promise Partnership schools to gain housing stability while supporting school goals and reducing school mobility. She has established strong partnerships with the schools, attends school meetings and works with counselors and school staff to support goals her clients have.

Jill Giachino – Lantern House

Jill works closely with each of her clients to find appropriate housing and help them get back on their feet. Jill is always working with other agencies to collaborate to provide better services for clients and she has created lasting relationships with many landlords in Weber County. Jill is a wonderful asset to Lantern House staff, because she cares as much about her staff as she does about the success of her clients. Her knowledge of the inner workings and details of the programs enables her to provide clients with resources to access housing in Weber County, and she is always available to staff and clients to answer any questions.

Kim Russo – Utah Community Action

Kim Russo has been a source of light at the Weigand Center the past six months. She identifies those clients that have experienced trauma and need a little more help stepping out of their comfort zone to ask for help. She is constantly validating others and recognizing the strengths in every individual co-worker and client. She starts every day with a “shout out,” making each of her coworkers feel valued and recognized. She uses her great sense of humor to lighten the mood and to create a comfortable environment for clients. Her clients often leave with better confidence than when they walked in, and it shows in their faces and in their posture.

Lucy Servellon – CAPSA

Lucy has been assisting domestic violence survivors for more than 15 years. Her extensive knowledge of dealing with trauma empowers clients to make informed decisions that will best improve their situation. Lucy shows empathy and care for each individual that comes into shelter, and clients frequently voice their appreciation for Lucy’s help. Throughout her career, she has acquired a vast knowledge about human trafficking, how to recognize victims and how to support them through the healing process. Lucy has spent countless hours creating a toolkit to inform others about human trafficking that she hopes she can share with other service providers in the near future.