Cheryl Johnson, CEO of the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), has been named the recipient of the campus's sixth annual Susan B. Anthony Community Award
April 27, 2009
DEARBORN / APRIL 27, 2009---Cheryl Johnson, CEO of the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), has been named the recipient of the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s sixth annual Susan B. Anthony Community Award.
The annual award was created to recognize individuals in the community who advance the cause of women's equality in southeastern Michigan.
For the past 30 years, UM-Dearborn’s Commission for Women has presented the campus Susan B. Anthony Award annually to a member of the campus community who has advanced women's issues. Both the campus award and the Susan B. Anthony Community Award will be presented at the group's annual awards dinner on April 9.
With 25 years of experience in human services collaborating with non-profit, for profit and governmental agencies, Johnson has helped thousands of women, men and children move from homelessness to housing and stability in their lives, according to nominations for the award.
“Cheryl has devoted her life to social service work aimed at helping disadvantaged persons escape poverty and insecurity,” one nominator said. “She has been doing this work since she was 13 years old when she began volunteering to help troubled youth.”
Johnson has been with COTS since 1990, beginning her career there as a shelter director, before serving as deputy director from 1994-98 and then taking on her current role as CEO. She oversees approximately 100 employees, thousands of volunteers and a $7 million budget.
Under her leadership, COTS has received numerous awards, including the Agency of the Year Award from Great Lakes Capital Fund in 2005, the Best Managed Organizations of Metro Detroit Award in 2001, and the Non-Profit of the Year Award from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in 2001.
Prior to her work with COTS, Johnson served as a social worker and supervisor for Diversified Youth Services in Detroit, a treatment specialist for Boysville of Michigan and a senior child care worker for Lutheran Child and Family Services of Michigan.
“Because she is all too aware of how the lack of economic opportunity, combined with staggering rates of violence against women, contribute to women’s disproportionate homelessness, she has been an outspoken advocate for equity action on multiple fronts,” one nominator said.
Johnson has served as a Eureka Foundation Fellow; as founding member and past president of the Homeless Action Network of Detroit; as a trustee of New Detroit; and as advisory council president of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.