Savanah Walseth

2022 RBG Scholarship Recipient

Ms. Walseth’s Scholarship was made possible through a generous donation by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation. Ms. Walseth . 

Ms. Walseth is entering her fourth year of Loyola Law School’s evening program this fall.  Ms. Walseth’s focus on homelessness issues is unparalleled.  Just after her 19th birthday, instead of going to college, Ms. Walseth decided to move from North Dakota to Los Angeles to work with People Assisting the Homeless as its outreach navigator and regional homelessness coordinator. 

During college, Ms. Walseth continued her work on homelessness issues at Janus Youth Program, a youth crisis center for homeless and runaway teens.  In her second year of college, Ms. Walseth became an intern in the Washington D.C.-based Shared Hope International, which worked to resolve the sexual exploitation of children, including those who are homeless.  After graduation from college, Ms. Walseth worked as a manager for the Catholic Charities of Oregon, specifically, Kenton Women’s Village, where previously unhoused women came to reside in tiny pod homes.  Subsequently, Ms. Walseth became employed by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority as a CES outreach coordinator.  In that position, she helped design the LA County Homeless Outreach Portal, which handled over 4,500 outreach requests within the first three months.  

During law school, Ms. Walseth worked as the unsheltered program director for the LA County Department of Health Services, Housing for Health.  When COVID-19 became widespread, Ms. Walseth had to oversee a team of 90 nurses, peer support staff and EMT’s who dealt with the unhoused.  Unfortunately, the 50-60 hour weeks in such position were taking their toll and resulted in Ms. Walseth making the difficult decision to take a step back to be able to focus on her law school studies.  She did continue working with youth through an externship  with the Laterman Special Education Clinic last year. 

In 2022, Ms. Walseth co-authored “Financial incentives and brand preferences for COVID-19 vaccination among unhoused people in Los Angeles County: A three-stage field survey,” which was published in the Journal of Urban Health.  This summer, Ms. Walseth will be an intern at the ACLU’s Economic Justice Project