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Throughout the year, we mourn the passing of our clients as we learn about them. This is a space to share some special thoughts about those we miss.
They were friends, advocates and colleagues—individuals with a story to tell or a smile to share. They are at the heart of everything we do and bring meaning to our work each and every day. To share news or memories of a client who has passed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phaedra Ward - September 2019
Phaedra started her journey with HCH in 2014 and eventually received housing through our Homeward Bound II project. Phaedra was well-known and regarded not just at HCH but throughout the city. She had very deep roots in Baltimore, involving herself in many health and recovery oriented projects. She was a spiritual person who drew from her beliefs during difficult times. And her fashion sense could easily evoke envy. She will be greatly missed.
William C. Brady - September 2019
Mr. Brady was one of a kind. He was intriguing, incredibly strong-willed and determined. He was a fierce and committed advocate for himself. He was brave. He took care and pride in his physical appearance and liked to be put together, with his shirt buttoned to the collar and often carrying a briefcase full of handwritten grievances against anybody and everybody. He kept us accountable to those we serve, as well as our funders. We are comforted by the fact that things unfolded the way that he wished, on his terms- as they often were.
Kennard Peay - August 2019
Cynthia Kopec - August 2019
Jonathan Gross - July 2019
Jonathan “Speedy” Gross was known as “a family man”. His foster mom recalls that speedy loved to be outside and that he was a brilliant mathematician. Speedy’s main priority was making sure his children, his chosen family, his friends, and anyone he came in contact with were protected and fed. Speedy was known for his listening ear and for being a living diary for his friends. His brilliant smile would brighten up everyone’s day.
Michael “Mick” Hughes - June 2019
Lenwood Coleman - June 2019
Lenwood was a long-time client of Connect and worked with many providers on the team over the years. Connect staff have fond memories of Lenwood:
“Mr. Coleman kept things simple and tried not to be a burden. He seemed a loner but was loved by many. You would not have known that in that wheelchair was a gentle giant; slow to anger and very respectful. Mr. Coleman will be sorely missed.”
“Mr. Coleman had a sense of humor and a sharp wit. He always spoke his mind and most every encounter left us smiling.”
“Mr. Coleman will be greatly missed. He was a jovial, authentic person who always made my day a little brighter. Even when he was in circumstances that were not favorable, he always looked at the positive and had a good laugh. It is hard to think he is no longer with us but I will always remember his positive energy and spirit.”
Clifton White - June 2019
Cliff was a long-term client of our SH program. He entering our program in 2010, and was housed on 11/30/2010. Many staff have fond memories of Cliff and were especially impressed with how his smile, humor and warm heart prevailed even in the face of a lengthy illness. Staff have the following thoughts to share:
“He was a quiet man with a good heart. He had a humorous side once you got to know him and would like to see others smile. Housing was important to Cliff and he always had a nice apartment. He was very good at decorating and saved money to purchase nice furniture. He took pride in his place and made it feel like a home. I will miss him.”
“Cliff was always such a pleasure to work with. He smiled and laughed often. He loved watching movies, especially old westerns and action movies. He was resilient up to his last days, always calling himself a fighter. He was well-known to many of us at HCH, and will be missed by all of us.”
Reginald Wilkes - May 2019
Mr. Wilkes resided at Sojourner Place and received care through our Supportive Housing and medical team at WB. "Mr. Wilkes was a pleasure to work with and we noticed a significant change in him since becoming housed. He reconnected with healthcare, both his PCP and his orthopedic specialist, and even made a significant reduction in his alcohol use. After becoming housed he also began to speak of reestablishing contact with his sister. He made several statements that signaled that his health was important to him. He was so happy to be housed and to be a part of the supportive housing team. During his intake for knee surgery, he informed the clerk that HCH staff was “all that I have.” He also developed close relationships with a few of his neighbors. Despite his physical limitations he took pride in being able to get around on his own; he was always on the go or sitting in his doorway playing music.”
Dan Woodward - May 2019
George Powell - May 2019
George was a very loving and kind person who loved everyone and would give you the coat off his back. His neighbors spoke very well of him saying how he always wanted to help people on the streets of Baltimore.
Stanley Jones - May 2019
Mr. Jones was a new client to SH, and was recently housed through our ACIS program. Despite his short time with us, his providers have pleasant memories of their work with him: “Stanley was a quiet, introverted client. He was family oriented and proud of being a father. He recently moved into his apartment and took great care of it. When he received his furniture, he stated it finally feels like a home.”
Andre Pollard - April 2019
Andre was a bright light in the lives of his friends and family, always positive and asking how you were doing, even when you knew he was dealing with a lot. He fought hard to maintain his independence over the past year, defying doctors’ expectations, and enjoyed a special celebration at his home for his 55th birthday last month. He was his mother’s only son, and she and his sisters loved him dearly.
Marieul Tanya Brooks - March 2019
Tanya was well-known on the Connect Team for her flair, perseverance, and determination. She was a survivor, often despite the odds laid out before her. She was generous and craved connections with others. She loved to laugh, and she didn’t mind making jokes at her own expense – or at her worker’s. She took great pride in her appearance and loved watching underdogs succeed. She will be missed, and she did much to make sure she would never be forgotten.
Adolphus Shorey - January 2019
Mr. Shorey was impressionable, God loving and quite the dapper man. Despite spending his last few months ill and in the hospital, he was dedicated to cleaning and maintaining his apartment that he loved so dearly. Mr. Shorey was always his authentic self and we will truly miss that.
James Jeffers - January 2019
Mr. Jeffers was a family man with a warm and kind-hearted nature. He is remembered not just by us, but by his sisters, several children, over 19 grandchildren and plenty of great grandchildren. A longtime client since 2003 and housed since 2017, he was loved by many staff members and will be missed by all.
Mikele Bell - January 2019
Mikele, a client, community members and friend for over 20 years will be remembered for his eagerness to happily engage with others and his constant presence in the Art and Writers’ groups. As a longtime client, he allowed glimpses of his traumatic history during his journey towards stable housing. He fought for recovery until the very end. Working with him was a privilege. Mikele will be missed dearly by so many of us here.
Nathaniel Swann - November 2018
Nathaniel Swann absolutely loved music. He had a huge smile, loved to tease and was known for making everyone around him laugh, even in the most challenging circumstances. Nate went from sleeping on our porch to having a home of his own where he felt safe. His sister loved him fiercely, and he maintained a few close and supportive relationships. No one was quite as brutally honest—or profane—as him. We will miss him.
Damon Hampton - October 2018
Damon Hampton passed away in the comfort of his own apartment. We remember him for his honesty and generosity; he was known for trying to give away his cigarettes and a few dollars to our less fortunate clients. He was also pursuing his GED in his last few months. Damon is survived by his three children whom he kept in touch with regularly. A consistent presence at our Fallsway and West Baltimore clinics, we will miss him immensely.
Peter Yastrzemsky - October 2018
Peter was a client in our Supportive Housing program for at least nine years. Known for his fierce independence and generosity, nothing ever stopped him from getting around in his electric wheelchair and he always offered his providers a piece of candy during appointments. Peter was close to his brother and enjoyed unwavering support until his final breath last Wednesday. His provider, Tyler Cornell, says, “He was a survivor with a wonderful attitude… a cat with nine lives. Please hold Peter in your thoughts.” We will miss him dearly.
Charles White - September 2018
It brings us peace to know that Mr. White, a long-time Supportive Housing client, passed away in the comfort of his own home. He maintained his independence and enjoyed the company of his dog, Lucy. We will miss his resilient spirit.
Christopher Reese - July 2018
Mr. Reese, a client that worked closely with our Connect team, will be remembered for his curious and independent spirit, as well as his interest in history, politics and human rights. He was thrilled to have received his own apartment, taking pride in the fact that he had a place to come home to every night. His passion will be greatly missed.
Karen Simpkins - July 2018
On June 20, Karen Simpkins passed away in a small park across from the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center. She had experienced a lengthy period of homelessness, was in poor health, and had been seen by a range of Health Care for the Homeless outreach, mobile, and clinic staff. We are saddened by the news of her passing.
Dawn Selph - June 2018
Over the years, client Dawn Selph bonded with our Supportive Housing team and became a familiar and loving face to staff working in our supportive housing department. She was surrounded by the love of her sister at the time of her passing. We will remember her for her resilience.
James Dyson - April 2018
Mr. Dyson, a Supportive Housing client, kept a low profile around the agency, but he had a strong voice and big heart. Over time, he became more and more involved with our community. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him.
Sonya Gipson - March 2018
Sonya was a supportive housing client and well known here and around the city. She was a very special person with a big heart, always leaving behind gifts and trinkets to brighten up the day of her providers. She will be greatly missed.
Deborah White - December 2017
Deborah White was a walking contradiction; a perfect blend of sarcasm, irony and optimism, and she had a wicked cackling laugh that was infectious. Above all else, she was hopeful. Even at the end of her days, her sense of humor was pointed. Every time she left the clinic or was getting ready to end a phone call she'd say: "Love you, Baby." No matter who we are or where we are, we should be loved by someone. Deborah White certainly was.
James Smith - December 2017
Known to his friends, as “Mark,” Mr. Smith was a fiercely loyal and persistent person. He went through many difficulties during his time coming to Health Care for the Homeless, but he always came back and had a smile. He was a stubborn man, but he was willing to listen to those he trusted. He very bravely fought and faced the cancer that took him, and he was grateful for what he had until the end.
Gerald Gray - December 2017
Gerald began coming to Health Care for the Homeless during the days when we still had paper charts and worked with many staff members over the years. Through it all, he had a special relationship with his fellow sports fan Mike Rudolph—they used to go to Orioles and Ravens games together. Stephanie Mobley knew what to look for to determine how Gerald was doing—“Watch his hair. When he stops taking care of his hair, he isn’t doing well. When his hair is braided and he looks sharp, he is in a good place.” Most recently, Gerald was in a good place. He was housed and passed away in his own apartment
Howard Levy - November 2017
Howard had been coming to Health Care for the Homeless since 2010. He was a very self-determined man who knew what he wanted and how we was going to live his life. He left a permanent spot in a nursing home because he felt like it was "god's waiting room." He wanted to be out in the world—or at least near the inner harbor. A few months ago he came in drenched from the rain with all of his clothes wet and dirty. It was with love, compassion, and dignity that Nurse Steph cleaned him and dressed him. I can say that when he came to Health Care for the Homeless he was treated with respect and for that I am grateful.
Dexter Herring - October 2017
Dexter, better known as Dake, started coming to Health Care for the Homeless in 2011 for medical and behavioral health needs. He attended a number of support groups at Health Care for the Homeless until his schedule was full with psychiatric rehabilitation classes and later on dialysis. He became housed through his connections at the Harbor City psychiatric rehabilitation program and the Helping Other People through Empowerment Center. He continued to run errands, visit his mother and grandmother and practice Jumu’ah, a ritual in his Muslim faith involving prayer and going to the mosque, right up until he died of complications related to diabetes.
Pamela Tunstall - July 2017
Pam was tremendously kind, generous, loved to laugh and cared a lot about the wellbeing of others. Even when she was not feeling her best she always reminded her providers, "Make sure you eat lunch and be safe out there."
Michael Stewart - July 2017
Willie Charles - June 2017
Willie was a SOAR Housing First client who had been housed with the program for over a year. He was a lover of art and a talented painter. He had a network of community support that rallied around him while homeless and remained a fixture in his life once housed. Both his spirit and his talent will be missed.
Williams Seals - June 2017
Williams was a frequent presence here at Health Care for the Homeless. He was known for his kindness and friendly disposition. He was grateful for all Health care for the Homeless had given him and said so often. He was particularly grateful for our staff, who he said cared for his well-being.
Freddie Harrison - May 2017
Freddie had been a long-time client at Health Care for the Homeless. He had a good sense of humor and was known around the clinic by many. He will be missed.
Toni Sidoli - May 2017
Toni was always happy and pleasant and had a wonderful smile. She never shied away from the truth and told you like it is. She was forever grateful for what Health Care for the Homeless did for her and would often talk about how “good” everyone was to her. Without a doubt, everything she said was heartfelt. Our hearts will be sad, but we are richer for knowing her.
Domingo Carmona - April 2017
Domingo was the sort of person that people always referred to as their uncle or brother, because the relationships he kept were tight-knit. He was known only as "Chicago" to many that knew him, after the city in which he was born and raised. He travelled all over the country, living in Minnasota, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia before settling in Maryland.
Earline Thomas – March 2017
Earline had a strong presence and a big personality. Known as “Smiley” or “The Mayor of Health Care for the Homeless,” Earline was someone you could never forget through her smile and sense of humor. Earline reminded us what it means to be authentic and genuine and was always true to herself.
Howard Michael Martin (Mike) – March 2017
Mike had been a part of the Health Care for the Homeless family for some time and got to know several of our staff members. He was a great person to be around and will be sorely missed.
Tammie Stanley – March 2017
Over the years, Health Care for the Homeless got to know Tammie and cared for her throughout her path toward stability. Thanks to Andrea Shearer for initially engaging her and getting her involved with us. Thanks to Jill Eicher and Ryan Stagg for her successfully through the SOAR program. And thanks to Jammie Winder and Katie League for helping her receive a voucher so that her last days were in dignity.
Teddy Maddox – February 2017
Teddy was an incredibly important part of Health Care for the Homeless. He was a speaker on the speakers’ bureau, leader on the consumer relations committee and all around advocate. He also served as a member of our Board of Directors. He fought to represent people experiencing homelessness and sought to undue harmful stereotypes wherever they existed. Teddy said that, “People lose so much in homelessness, in foster care and in the criminal justice system.” And so he believed that “people need to feel that they belong and have a rightful place in society.”
Lawrence Freeny – January 2017
Lawrence had been a client here at Healthcare for the Homeless since 2010. Despite life’s challenges, Lawrence still managed to have a positive outlook on life. While at Health Care for the Homeless, he was housed, connected to behavioral health services and referred to a specialist that addressed his needs.