Portrait of Taavon Bazemore
Meet our new Senior Director of Housing Services


Q&A with Dr. Taavon Bazemore, LCSW-C

Born and raised in Baltimore, Dr. Taavon Bazemore comes to us with extensive social work experience with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and Child Protective Services. He is also the founder of Bazemore Clinical Services, LLC, which trains social work clinicians. He earned his Bachelor’s of Social Work at Coppin State University; his Master’s of Social Work at Morgan State University; and his Doctorate in Human Services from Capella University last year. In the Q&A below, get to know more about Taavon, and why we’re thrilled to welcome him to Health Care for the Homeless.

You’ve spent at least the last 10 years in social work positions working with youth and also training clinical social workers through your company. What drew you to social work as a career path?

The greatest way to learn is through our lived experiences. My lived experiences motivated me to be a social worker. I wanted to work with youth who were navigating reaching their dreams and goals while being blocked by constant adversity. This is my story, too.

We often say that “Housing is health care.” As someone who will oversee our housing work, what is your take?  Why is housing work important?

Housing is health care. If people do not have a safe place to sleep permanently, it is almost impossible to focus on any other area of your life. You will neglect yourself in certain areas. Housing is important, and it is important to me because I remember not having secure housing as a child because my own mother was navigating battling substance addiction. I remember what it felt like for me, even years later, to finally purchase my own home as an adult; the traumas related to my childhood trauma felt like they were lifted off my shoulders.

What are some of the initial goals or projects on your radar for housing this year?  

Honestly, building a strong relationship with my team, peers and administration so that we can meet the mission and goals set for housing services. To strengthen our resources and services provided to the clients we are serving. I am really intrigued by the Housing First and Harm Reduction models, and I want to continue to strengthen our efforts in these areas.

What are one or two ways racial equity and inclusion will inform your approach to our housing services work?

Racial equity keeps me mindful of the decisions and application of services and resources we provide to individuals and families; ensuring we are always fair. At decision points, I ask myself, “Would I provide these services to everyone at the same level with the same passion and support?” “Do I recognize any bias implicit or explicit, and have I checked them at the door so I can provide services and supports fairly?”

What should staff (and others!) know about your leadership style and vision for the department?

I am a servant leader, which means I am willing to put on my J’s (lol, you will see me pair a suit with them) and hit the ground running with my team. I am supportive and have an open door; reach out to me for support whenever needed. However, I am accountable to the work, expectations to meet our mission and goals, and to ensuring we are being professional and ethical clinicians when providing services to clients, and I expect my team to be accountable as well.

It looks like you have spent most of your educational years and career in the Baltimore area. How would you describe your connection to Baltimore?

I am a Baltimorean at heart, born and raised on the west side. I love Baltimore and I am proud to be a Baltimorean. There’s nowhere else like Baltimore; we have a lot of culture, talent and creativity. We don’t get enough recognition or credit for this, which means people miss the beauty in our city.

What are you reading/listening to that you’d recommend or consider helpful to others in this work?

I listen to a podcast Tiny Leaps, Big Changes hosted by Gregg Clunis. I also host my own podcast and do a lot of writing and reflecting—with some self-help books hopefully being published soon on personal growth and healing.

What is something that helps you find balance or joy outside of work?

Spending time with my daughter and family is very important to me, and it’s the best self-care. Also, I love to travel. Hence, a trip to Thailand before starting here. A nice trip exploring another part of the world brings me a lot of tranquility.

Give Taavon a warm welcome when you see him next!

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