“We don’t manage homelessness,
we end it.”

– Darlene Newsom, Chief Executive Officer of UMOM New Day Centers

On International Women’s Day, we’d like to recognize, thank and celebrate Darlene Newsom for her outstanding leadership over the past 18 years at UMOM New Day Centers. Leaders nationwide recognize Darlene as an expert on the issue of families experiencing homelessness, as well the topic of homelessness in general.

Having worked in Arizona’s non-profit sector for over 44 years, Darlene has spent time as the Director of a shelter for homeless youth in Tucson, founded a shelter for homeless families in Yuma, and took the helm at UMOM New Day Centers in 2002. Under her leadership, UMOM has improved the services offered and expanded its capacity to serve Maricopa County, particularly in the areas of affordable housing, rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing. Darlene currently oversees the entire $20 million agency budget and its 280 employees.

Impact Overview

  • 2002: Darlene Newsom joined UMOM New Day Centers staff 
  • 2005: Agency identified the need to rebuild campus on north side of Van Buren St.
  • 2006: Plans developed, and Capital Campaign began (would take 10 years total)
  • 2007: Purchased Days Inn and Super 8 and began renovation 
  • 2009: Developed plans to apply for LIHTC for an affordable housing (two phases) on the old campus (The Legacy Crossing)
    • Moved entire shelter to newly developed facility on current UMOM campus
  • 2010: Opened Phase 1 of The Legacy Crossing
  • 2011: Secured grant of $5M from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to expand services and pay off all remaining loans on campus purchase/renovation 
  • 2012: Opened Phase 2 of The Legacy Crossing 
  • 2016-2017: Purchased property and developed as Parson’s Village 
  • 2018-2019: Purchased land and developed at 19 West
  • 2019-2020: Purchase land and developed at South Seventh

Awards & Recognition Overview

  • 1999: Received HUD’s “John J. Gunther Award” and was recognized as a “best practice for providing much-needed housing and case management to the homeless population of Phoenix.” 
  • 2000: Recognized as a recipient of a City of Phoenix “Community Development” Award. 
  • 2004: Received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation (C.O.A.). 
  • 2006: Recognized as a recipient of the HUD “End Homelessness” Award.
  • 2010: Named the “Homeless Service Provider of the Year” by the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department.
  • 2010: Received a City of Phoenix “Community Development” Award.
  • 2011: Became one of the first homeless shelters in the U.S. to open a federally-funded Grant Per Diem Program that privately subsidizes shelter services for veteran families.
  • 2011: Darlene was honored with the Public Sector Athena Award by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce 
  • 2012: Darlene participated in the Virginia G. Piper Fellow program to focus on honing her leadership skills and learning new strategies for UMOM’s success
  • 2012: Received the “Most Valuable Partner” Award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • 2012: Darlene Newsom, UMOM’s Chief Executive Officer, received the Arizona Girl Scouts’ 2012 “Women of Distinction Courage” Award.
  • 2013: Named the City of Phoenix’s “Housing Partner of the Year”.
  • 2013: Received the “Community Champion” Award from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
  • 2013: Received the Goodmans’ “Eye for the Good Guys Board Governance” Award and a $20,000 makeover for main campus conference room.   
  • 2014: Received the 13th Annual “Governor’s Volunteer Services” Award.
  • 2014: Received the Inaugural Rose Mofford “Caring for the Community” Award. 
  • 2015: Darlene received the Junior League of Phoenix Valley Impact Community Partner “Legacy” Award. 
  • 2018: Darlene received the Organization for Nonprofit Executives’ (ONE) 2018 “Leader of Distinction” Award.
  • 2018: Darlene was presented with Real Women’s “Celebration of Women” Award.