Pass the Mic with Albert Miller


Albert Miller is a Health Care for the Homeless Board of Directors member, the 2023 Ellen Dailey Award recipient at the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and was featured in “We Are a Mirror of Love”, our original documentary that debuted at this year’s Chocolate Affair.

I am patient, creative and full of life. Mostly I always try to find a way to help somebody, whether it’s a conversation or whether it’s a smile.

I was born and raised here in Baltimore. I was a curious kid.

My mom was a great reader. My dad was a worker. He believed in work; she believed in study. Between them two I had learnt a lot, but I really wasn’t able to contain my anger. And I was really comfortable being with people in trouble.

Almost 50 years I was in and out of prison. It’s like you’ve got this little ball – and all of the little ball is the wisdom and knowledge that people try to give you but it bounces off because the anger’s like that block.

But once you begin to dissolve that anger through doing yoga, through breathing exercises and through meditation it goes to your nerves, then it goes to your mind. And you feel the immediate effects. Over time, the court seen that I had made tremendous progress and they suspended my life sentence and put me out on the street.

I didn’t even know where I was going at first. I ended up staying with my sister, the one I stay with now. And from that point on, I’ve been trying to get housing dealing with elderly people because I’m 71.

Get tired, lay down, take a break, get back up and try it again. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m going to do today, and tomorrow. And then when I get tired, I’ll take my day off, my week off and start on the cycle again.

Certain people believe that people who have participated in crime should never receive anything. “If this is what they do, bury ‘em in there!” But what about when a person’s changed? What about the fact that this person can now benefit you or different parts of society? Those things, a lot of people don’t look at.

What I’m involved in is I call it “constant volunteerism.” I volunteer from Health Care for the Homeless to Sheppard Pratt. From Sheppard Pratt to people out on the street. The kinder you are to people, the more you see instant change. And when people change they have the ability to assist other people in change. 

“Pass the Mic” is a storytelling space featuring the voices and stories of people with a lived experience of homelessness.

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