The Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless is honored each year to recognize two individuals or groups in our community that have made extraordinary contributions to ending homelessness.  Awards are presented at our annual October in Paradise event.

The Spirit of Service Award goes to a person or organization who works in the field and exemplifies the best in direct service to homeless people. This award recognizes a person or organization working in the field that has made extraordinary contributions to ending homelessness and/or assisting those who have become homeless. This award includes a $500 gift from the Task Force to the non-profit organization of the honoree’s choice.

The Marijke Byck Spirit of Community Award goes to a community person or organization who has provided special assistance to people who are homeless and/or advocacy for programs that reduce homelessness in Sonoma County.

The Spirit of Community Award proudly bears the name of Marijke Byck, an extraordinary woman who served on the Task Force Board of Directors for over fifteen years, including many years as Board Secretary, and gave generously of herself both personally and professionally to offer caring assistance to homeless and disadvantaged people.  Mrs. Byck, who sadly passed away in 2006, was often heard to say that it takes the participation of the whole community to end homelessness.  In recognizing community participation and leadership, it is appropriate that this award also commemorates Marijke Byck.


2016 – Erika Klohe, MSW

2015 – Annie Nicol, RN

2014 – Matt Martin

2013 – Kym Valadez                                     

2012 – Jan De Wald                                      

2011 – Jenny Helbraun Abramson            

2010 – Dr. Michael Kozart                          

2009 – County Mental Health Div.            

2008 – Maureen Shaw                                  

2007 – Diane Landman                                

2006 – Sr. Kathleen McGrath                     

2005 – Daniel Lennox

2004 – Michael DeVore                               

2003 – Arlene Irizary                                  

2002 – Michelle Baynes                               

2001 – Mike Turley

2000 – JoAnne Matson      



2016 – John Lowry

2015 – Adrienne Lauby

2014 – Supervisor Shirlee Zane

2013 – St. Joseph Health Sonoma County

2012 – Luther Burbank Savings

2011 – Nick Stewart

2010 – Gale Brownell

2009 – Judge Gary Nadler

2008 – Friends of the Homeless

2007 – City of Cloverdale

2006 – Brian Bennett

2005 – Brian Dixon

2004 – Rabbi Michael Robinson

2003 – Janet Condron

2002 – Ken Martin Jr.