The Office of Inspector General challenge coin: A token of honor for this DHA employee

A challenge coin is a coin, badge or medallion bearing an organization’s logo or emblem and given to a member of the organization as a token of appreciation. Historically, the challenge coin has been an American military tradition, meant to instill pride, improve spirits or reward hard work in the ranks.

The most commonly believed story of the coin’s background say it originated during World War I. According to legend, a wealthy lieutenant in one squadron ordered medallions in solid bronze and presented them to service members in his unit. Inscribed with the squadron’s esteemed insignia, one pilot’s challenge coin saved his life after he crashed and presented his coin as identification on the front lines.

Moreover, the coin has evolved over time to become a symbol of honor and excellence for several different public services in the states, specifically government affiliated organizations. One of the affiliations that has adopted the use of the challenge coin as a token of appreciation is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Presented by the HUD Office of Inspector General, the challenge coin represents affiliation, support or patronage to HUD. Distributed only to the most committed members of HUD’s greater organization, Dorcas Barcenas of DHA Housing Solutions for North Texas is a recent recipient of the HUD challenge coin.

The HUD Office of Inspector General presented Ms. Barcenas with the challenge coin from their department for assistance and commitment to fulfilling HUD’s mission over the years. With HUD’s emblem minted on the coin, it bears Ms. Barcenas’ dutiful service to the department’s core values; accountability, diversity, integrity, stewardship and collaboration.

Serving as housing services manager for DHA, Ms. Barcenas works hard to empower DHA clients so that the rental housing assistance choice is in the hands of the individual or family. She is dedicated in assisting clients in the housing choice voucher program so they can receive the best resources possible. Never seeking recognition for her hard work, Ms. Barcenas accepted the coin with joy and humility. “I am so thankful to have received the challenge coin from the Office of Inspector General,” said Ms. Barcenas. “This is such an honor. I’m appreciative of all that HUD does to make this program better for our clients.”

“Dorcas has been a dedicated member of the DHA team for years, serving tirelessly to improve lives every day,” said David Zappasodi, senior vice president and chief operating officer for DHA. “We are so proud of her! This type of recognition is very rare, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” he concluded.

Dorcas’ receipt of the coin not only demonstrates her outstanding performance over the years, but shows the overall commitment of DHA staff to work with excellence for the communities they serve.



DHA to Administer Next Portion of the City of Dallas Rental Assistance Program Funded by American Rescue Plan

Applications for rental assistance open now and close on December 31, 2023 DALLAS — AUGUST […]


DHA Receives Recognition From the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)

DALLAS – August 8, 2022 – The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) […]


Opportunity Rising Ascend and Summit Scholarships Are Now Open for Applications

DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas created the Opportunity Rising Foundation, an education-focused nonprofit organization […]