SPRINGFIELD — Dave Havens, program director of Homeless Services for MHA, was recently honored by the Human Service Forum with the organization’s Esteemed Service Award.
“We wanted to acknowledge Dave for his uncompromising values, principled leadership, and commitment to being a champion for people who need his help to get housed,” said Becca Coolong, executive director of the Human Service Forum, a Holyoke-based organization that provides networking and training opportunities for human-services organizations in Western Mass. “We started the Esteemed Service Award in 1986, but we don’t give them out every year, just when we feel that someone truly deserves this special recognition. Dave’s real dedication and commitment to being a strong leader, supporting his staff at MHA, and moving the mission of the organization forward are all reasons why he deserves this Esteemed Service Award.”
Christine Palmieri, vice president of Recovery and Housing for MHA, added that “Dave is truly a pioneer in providing Housing First services to homeless persons in our area. When I stepped into my role at MHA, I became Dave’s supervisor, and I’ve been learning from him ever since. MHA is known in the service system for our ability to serve difficult people, and that reputation has been built in large measure through Dave’s values, leadership, and dedication. He clearly is deserving of this recognition from the Human Service Forum, and we are proud to have him on our team at MHA.”