Dreams for Change

Awards & Recognitions

We are so grateful for the recognition and awards we’ve received. It truly wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and support of our amazing team, board, donors, volunteers, and supporters. Thank you all for making our dreams a reality!

Teresa Smith, 2018 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

Teresa Smith tackles the tough problem of homelessness with head and heart. With a Ph.D. in health physics, she worked at a San Diego social service agency during the 2008 recession. Smith noticed that thousands of people on the brink of homelessness used their cars as a last refuge. Yet many county programs viewed cars as liabilities, not assets, for someone seeking assistance, and encouraged residents to get rid of vehicles. Smith realized that it was time for a new strategy focused on protecting and building assets to help people avoid becoming permanently homeless. Dreams for Change was born. View the video.

2023 Community Spotlight Award — Dr. Teresa Smith, Dreams of Change

“LEAD San Diego, in partnership with ABC 10News, recognizes unsung heroes throughout the year with the monthly 10News LEADership Award. Each of the 12 organizations becomes a finalist for our annual Community Spotlight Award, and the winner is announced live on the main stage during the Visionary Awards program. These finalists all make a significant impact on our community through their dedication of time, talent, and treasure.”

2023 Channel 10 Leadership Award

For more than 40 years, the 10News Leadership Award has honored individuals and organizations who do extraordinary things to improve our lives in San Diego. With our community partner LEAD San Diego, ABC 10News acknowledges San Diegans nominated by their peers for selfless acts of time and dedication. We strive to recognize the women, men and youth of our community who distinguish themselves through commitment with passion and purpose.

2019 United Way of San Diego Community Partner Award

Dreams for Change was one of three partners honored with our Community Partner award at our May 1st Community Breakfast. As a partner in our Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition since 2011, they have completed over 20,000 tax returns, resulting in over $13 million in federal earned income tax credits returned to San Diego County residents.

2022 Nonprofits of the Year

Assemblymember Dr. Akila Weber honored Dreams for Change with the 2022 Nonprofit of the Year award. The honorees serve communities in the state’s major metropolitan regions, in suburban neighborhoods and rural communities. They address a wide range of issues, from homelessness and health, to workers rights, education support to underserved students, the arts and the environment.