TOP ACHIEVER—Jefferson Award winner Denise Zellous with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa.


WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., congratulated Pittsburgh resident Denise Zellous, who was honored with the Jefferson Award, a prestigious recognition honoring community and public service. Zellous traveled to Washington with other Pennsylvania Jefferson Award winners for a day at the Capitol.

Once homeless and addicted to drugs, Zellous was also a victim of child and spousal abuse. In 2000, she found a pathway to recovery and turned her life around at a comprehensive rehabilitation program run by Bethlehem Haven in uptown Pittsburgh.

Dress for Success Pittsburgh recognized Zellous in 2010 for her perseverance and asked her to become more involved. She created a program that gives every day essential household items to women transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing.

She now has 13 years of uninterrupted recovery and is the mother of five adopted children.

“I’m very happy for Denise and congratulate her on being recognized with the Jefferson Award,” said Sen. Toomey. “Her story is truly inspiring and her service to homeless women in transition is remarkable. It is very fitting that she has won an award that honors those who exemplify the spirit of public service through action in their community. This is an essential component of our civil society and I thank Denise for playing such an important role in it.”



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