1. Diana Morales wins the COTS Board President’s Award

The overwhelming choice of her colleagues to win, Diana accepted her award at our Holiday Party on December 13 and was back at work before 7 the next day.

Diana started at COTS in 2015 as a front desk intern. Now she is a site coordinator, responsible for maintaining a safe and secure environment on the Mary Isaak Center first floor and for ensuring that our residents have their basic needs met.  She works four 12-hour days a week. At times, she is the only staff person in the building.

Diana fields questions from everybody who comes up to the front desk—that means residents, would-be residents, donors, job applicants and our partners. It can be hectic during the day—with multiple people waiting for her assistance. One minute, she may be helping bring in donations from somebody’s trunk, the next, she’s getting someone a bag lunch, or giving directions to the bus stop. She’ll explain the value of working with a case manager, she’ll thank residents for their community service, she’ll hand out sheets, towels and dental floss.  People are usually grateful, but sometimes they’re abusive. Diana never her loses her cool and always strives to defuse the situation and bring people to a place of calm.

Often, at night, she’ll listen long and hard to the stories of people who can’t sleep and who wonder if they’ll ever feel whole again.

She gives each person her full attention. No one with whom she’s speaking is aware that she has a million tasks waiting for her. They feel heard.

And that’s good because the stakes are high. A kind word from Diana can convince people to finally come in from the streets, to seek help, to address problems, to make changes.  Just last month, Diana saved two lives!  Nurse Annie, our resident Nurse Practitioner from the Petaluma Health Center, says Diana has great instincts and is an integral part of providing health care and security to residents.

Diana knows she could get an easier job, a better-paying job, a less stressful job. “I stay because this is important work,” she says.


Diana accepts her award from COTS Board President Pat Williams