HCH Receives the 2015 “Helping People” Award!

Yesterday, April 22nd, Health Care for the Homeless was proud to accept the 2015 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. Presented to President & CEO Kevin Lindamood by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, the Helping People Award honors organizations including those that directly aid the most vulnerable, and how build public/private partnerships to improve the lives of fellow Marylanders.

Comptroller Franchot created the award in 2012, to honor the legacy of public service exemplified by former Governor, Comptroller and Baltimore City Mayor William Donald Schaefer.

The longstanding relationship between Governor Schaefer and Health Care for the Homeless makes this recognition of our work all the more meaningful.

 

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Thanks to Our Second Annual “Free Market” Partners

Thank you to our 2nd annual Free Market partners: Constellation Energy and Venable LLP. For one day, these partners transformed the HCH garage. They stocked it  with food, clothing, hygiene kits, and more supplies that are vitally important for daily life.

Constellation Energy volunteers staffed the event. The volunteers welcomed about two hundred people experiencing homelessness and provided them with whatever supplies they needed.

Constellation and Venable support HCH year-round, by funding important services that help people regain health and stability and overcome homelessness for good. At this year’s day of service volunteers made an immediate difference, by providing items that are all too hard to come by on the street or in shelters.

The “Free Market” is quickly becoming a memorable tradition for the extended HCH community. We look forward to next year’s Day of Service with our compassionate partners.

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Congratulations to Outstanding Vendor Copper Kitchen

Congratulations to Copper Kitchen, the Outstanding Vendor award-winner for best hors d’oeuvre at the 2015 HCH Chocolate Affair.

At this year’s event, the Copper Kitchen team delighted guests with braised duck leg and raw cocoa mole sauce with Peruvian purple potatoes.

Kevin Miller, Jennifer DeVos, Gina Clay, and Michaela Taller visited HCH today to accept their award and take a tour of our clinic.

In addition to serving as a vendor at Chocolate, Kevin, Jen and their team provide breakfasts at a family shelter in Baltimore.

Although this is Copper Kitchen’s first time at the Chocolate Affair, pastry chef Kevin Miller has been involved with the event for many years. He describes Chocolate as a “wonderful event” for a “great cause.”

Find out more about Copper Kitchen at their website.

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Chocolate Affair 2015: An Unprecedented Success

By all measures, the 2015 Health Care for the Homeless Chocolate Affair was a rousing success. The room was full of warmth and high spirits. The chocolate was fabulous. The generosity was awe-inspiring. The dance floor overflowed.

Genuine, compassionate, revolutionary and dedicated. This is what our friends in the evening’s video call our community; and these came across loud and clear at Chocolate.

Genuine. While we were together for just a few hours, we were bound by a deep commitment to making our community a safer, healthier, better place for all of our neighbors. As many have said since Saturday night: We were 900+ strong, yet the evening felt intimate.

777%20-%202015-02-07%20at%2018-51-07%20-%202015-02-07%20at%2018-51-07-X2[1]Compassionate. During the evening’s program, several Baltimore families posed a challenge to Chocolate guests to mark the 30th anniversary of Health Care for the Homeless: If, and only if, we raised $50,000 during the Fund-A-Need auction, they would match it with another $50,000.

But our guests didn’t stop at $50,000. They gave $113,000: more than twice the challenge amount. All told, Chocolate raised $450,000, which is more than any other year in the event’s history. What an amazing tribute to our shared commitment to ending homelessness and saving lives.

Revolutionary. As a result of your generosity, this year we will provide more dental care, more “home visits” and more tangible assistance to more people in a more holistic manner than ever before in our history. Our collective voice will be louder and stronger in the halls of government. And we will build on our partnerships with universities and research institutions to strengthen and demonstrate the impact of our work.

Dedicated. As Dr. Breakey said when he issued the 30th Anniversary Challenge to you: Chocolate is one night, but the work of Health Care for the Homeless never stops.  So now, continue your involvement in the work to end homelessness.

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What’s the Next Step?

Join 400+ community members at Homeless Persons’ Lobby Day in Annapolis on Thursday, February 26. Rally in support of legislation and budget decisions that address the needs of the most vulnerable and least advantaged of our neighbors. This day is so critical for Health Care for the Homeless that we close our offices and drive down to Annapolis together. Together with clients and advocates, we meet with legislators and attend key hearings. We show—in force of numbers and spirit—our commitment to making sure all of our neighbors have a place to call home. Join us for the full day or part of the day! Email Adam Schneider or Vanessa Borotz for the day’s schedule, bus details and briefing sheets. Absolutely no experience required.

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Thanks to Our 2015 Chocolate Affair Guests and Partners!

Many thanks to our 2015 Chocolate Affair guests, sponsors, vendors and volunteers for making this year’s event a rousing success. 

On Saturday, Feb. 7, nearly 1,000 Health Care for the Homeless supporters gathered at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront for a festive evening of fundraising, and a rare spread of chocolate-inspired delicacies created by Baltimore’s top chefs. Their collective generosity and presence on this one evening will go a long way to advancing our efforts to save lives and make sure all our neighbors have a place to call home.

We shared this video with our Chocolate Affair guests this year, offering a glimpse into the breadth, commitment and extraordinary spirit of the Health Care for the Homeless community—the people who make our work possible.

Funds raised through Chocolate Affair sponsorships and ticket purchases, and during our live Fund-A-Need auction, provide vital support for the work of the organization over the course of the year.

At Health Care for the Homeless, 170 staff members work daily to prevent and end homelessness. In 2014, these dedicated professionals provided 9,000 children and adults with medical and dental care, therapy and addictions counseling, transportation and housing support—25% more people than in 2013. Additionally, we are passionate advocates, advancing policies that support affordable housing, comprehensive health care and livable incomes for all.

With partners like you, Health Care for the Homeless will meet the needs of a growing number of neighbors without homes. Together, we will serve more people and serve them better.

 

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Baltimore’s ABC2 News Covers the Crisis of Child Homelessness

Baltimore’s ABC2 News recently visited Health Care for the Homeless as part of a feature on the rise of child homelessness, both in our community and nationwide.

Reporter Katrina Bush spent time with one Health Care for the Homeless client, Sharon Niles, who became homeless in 2011. Fortunately Niles and her children have recently overcome homelessness, but the frustration of experiencing homelessness remains all too vividly in her mind: “I was going through a period in my life that I would never want my enemy to go through because it was so rough for me because it was so bad to know that my kids cry at me and say ‘Mommy, we need to get out of this shelter, what are you doing to get us out of here?’ I said baby, I’m trying everything I can. I’m fighting everyday to get us a place. And my kids say ‘Mommy, you’re not fighting hard enough.'” With help from Health Care for the Homeless Ms. Niles’s children emerged from homelessness with good health, and she is optimistic that the family will stay housed.

Bush also spoke with the Director of HCH’s Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic, Lisa Stambolis, and Director of Community Relations Adam Schneider. Stambolis and Schneider both emphasized that homelessness will continue until we address its root cause: poverty. As Stambolis put it, “Preventing homelessness, means that we have people who can have good jobs and affordable housing. We’re never going to fix the problem unless those two things happen.”

Sadly, child homelessness in the United States is at a historic high. But working together, our community has the capability to bring an end to this epidemic.

Health Care for the Homeless thanks WMAR and Ms. Bush for bringing attention to the urgent problem of child homelessness.The full story and accompanying video feature are available here.

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Dec. 21: Join us for National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

Every year, on the first night of winter and the longest night of the year, communities across the country gather to honor the lives of community members who experienced homelessness and passed away during the course of the last year. In Baltimore, National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is hosted by members of Baltimore’s Stop Homelessness And Reduce Poverty (SHARP) Coalition, the Coalition for Homeless Children and Families, and the Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative (BHYI), and takes place  Sunday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m. at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater. Please join in this commemoration. Please also tune in to the Marc Steiner Show for a conversation on National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, Friday, Dec. 20,  10:30-11:30 a.m. 

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Tony Simmons: A “Superhero” Advocating to End Homelessness

Three years ago, Tony Simmons slept on the streets. Today he is one of Maryland’s leading advocates for ending homelessness.File0710

A few years ago Tony overcame drug addiction, but during the struggle he lost everything. He found himself on the street in October of 2011, and by the time Christmas arrived, isolation and hopelessness had driven him to despair.

Two things allowed Tony to overcome the worst crisis of his life:

  • Helping Others: Becoming an advocate

Tony found a reason to keep going each day by making life easier for those around him. Like you and me, he wanted to make sure other people got basic necessities, like shoes, blankets, or a hot meal. His desire to help and make a difference led him to become involved in advocacy efforts, with HCH and other organizations working to create change.

  • “HCH University”: Finding and building community

Just like you, Tony thrives on seeking knowledge and enrichment. He joined the HCH men’s group, art therapy group, and the writers’ group, which he affectionately calls his “HCH University” experience. He also became a leader on the HCH Consumer Relations Committee. Because you support “whole person” care, Tony, and others just like him, take charge of their health and reconnect with social support, employment, and housing.

“Tony is a real life superhero,” says Vanessa, HCH Community Organizer. In November, Tony was nominated by his peers and awarded the 2014 HCH Community Champion Award.

With the help of our strong partners in the community, HCH staff equipped Tony with the resources he needed to triumph in spite of homelessness.  And because our supporters opened the door for Tony, he’s taking action to bring about lasting change. Throughout the year, I’ve had the privilege of serving with Tony on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness. Whether testifying before the city council, the state legislature, or Congress, Tony is driven to make sure that no one is forgotten.

You can read more about Tony’s heroic advocacy work in the Atlantic Magazine and the Baltimore Sun. And you can listen to a discussion with Tony and other experts about converting Baltimore’s vacant rowhomes into affordable housing on the Marc Steiner Show.

You can make more heroic transformations possible today, with a gift of $50 or more at donate.hchmd.org.

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Thanks for Making the First-Ever HCH 5K a Success!

Thanks to everyone who helped make our first-ever HCH 5K a success! We look forward to building this new tradition for the HCH community. (You can help – click here to give us your feedback).

Despite a somewhat chilly morning, close to 200 runners, joggers, and walkers showed up for friendly competition with friends, family, and fellow HCH supporters.

We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day for our race. That means we have some excellent pictures of our racers against the backdrop of Druid Hill Park. If you took pictures, please pass them along via @hchomeless on Twitter, or on the HCH Facebook page.

Overall times are available online. Click here to see where you placed.

Congratulations to David Ringword & John Archibald for setting the 2nd and 4th fastest men’s 5k course records.  Congratulations to HCH Director of Communications Molly Rath & Claire Drigotas for setting the 4th & 5th fastest women’s 5k course records.

A special thank you to Travis Bishop of Bishop’s Events, for organizing the race. Travis will soon a gallery of race pictures on the Bishop’s Events Facebook page, available here.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
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2014 Annual Community Meeting: Celebrating Our Extended HCH Family

More than 120 Health Care for the Homeless partners, volunteers, donors, and staff members gathered at 421 Fallsway for the HCH 2014 Annual Community Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 6, to celebrate their collective efforts to prevent and end homelessness for vulnerable individuals and families. In reflecting on the contributions of this vast and growing community in the last year, HCH staff highlighted individual partners and volunteers for their standout work and spirit, naming them the agency’s 2014 Community Champions. Staff also honored fellow staff members who embody the core values that drive HCH employees and their work.

2014 Community Champions

2014 Community Champions

 

 

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