Side profile of Mark Council speaking into a microphone to a crowd outside
Who benefits from storytelling?


Client storytelling is a staple of the nonprofit business model, ever present in advocacy, clinic tours, fundraising—and news articles like the one you are reading right now.

But until last September, we didn't honor clients' time or expertise in this space beyond lunches or occasional gift cards. As we began to apply a racial equity and inclusion lens to our work, a coalition of staff members, clients and board members committeed to addressing this inequity.

Consumer Relations Committee Chair Mark Council explains, "It wasn't about the money. It was about recognizing the work coming from those experiencing homelessness. I now receive a stipend for my role in the monthly New Hire Orientation where I talk about the advocacy work I do as a former person experiencing homelessness. Even though I have done and would continue doing this work without compensation, it indeed helps."

Now, when you read Pass the Mic features from individuals like Curtis or watch our upcoming documentary Taking Care: Portraits from Baltimore, know that clients involved are directly compensated for their contributions. As of April 2024, 12 clients have been paid for articles, video interviews, tours and presentations.

Consider adding client compensation at your workplace.

You don't have to start from scratch. We would love to share advice and final documents as references for other organizations to use in creating their own policies and practices. Reach out to

Board Member Mark Council, Senior Client Relations Manager Malcolm Williams and former Chief Strategy Officer Keiren Havens will present "Countering Nonprofit Exploitation: A Call for Client Compensation" at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council Conference in Phoenix this May. 

More Recent News


Earlier this year, two staff members were recognized for their leadership with a grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The grant supports leaders of color from organizations supported by the Foundation.


May is Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and honor the diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of these communities.

Darked-skinned man in glasses smiles, holding up an award that reads "Passion"

Gregory Rogers is a Senior Community Health Worker (CHW) with years of experience in addiction counseling. A vital part of a client’s care team, CHWs work with clients to navigate care both in the clinic and out in the community. See how Greg spends his days!

Magenta Pass the Mic with Curtis McLaughlin graphic, next to a photo of a dark-skinned man with long dreadlocks holding up artwork

An artist, gamer, and movie lover, Curtis McLaughlin has been part of the Health Care for the Homeless Art Group for more than five years. Get to know Curtis in the lasted edition of "Pass the Mic".


View All News

Copyright © 2024 Health Care for the Homeless.

All Rights Reserved.


421 Fallsway, Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: 410-837-5533


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram