Recent Profiles

To know the people we care for and the people who make that care happen is to know Health Care for the Homeless. Our promise to you: Getting to know them will make your life just a little bit richer.

I’m a proud two-year member of the Rock Your Socks 5K team, A Solid Case of the Runs.

All credit for the punny team name goes to my social work friend and team captain, Kim Riopelle—your Supportive Housing Coordinator at Health Care for the Homeless.

Kicking a bad habit doesn’t happen overnight. Many of us struggle with things like quitting smoking or cutting out junk food from our diets for years. But we keep taking baby steps—until finally, it sticks.

The same goes for substance use.

Do you remember the last time you moved? The excitement, the stress? Buying new supplies and home goods, getting water and electricity turned on and leaving a familiar community is hard for all of us—even in the best of times.

Imagine navigating this transition with little money for necessities and no family or friends to help. That’s what Ben and Mary are doing.

Last winter, Ray Fitzberger got frostbite on his legs and feet. Doctors had to remove three toes on his left foot. Not long after the surgery, Ray was released from the hospital.

Every day, people we know and love undergo surgery to address life-threatening conditions. If they have no place to go, they get discharged back to the streets.

Each day, Carlton trekked downtown for heroin. Drugs had landed him 33 years in prison, cost him the support of his family and prevented him from keeping a job.

Philisha fought for Gabby and Travis every day.

As the 90-day limit at a local shelter wound down, she agonized over keeping her family together and keeping a roof over her children’s heads. The possibility that she couldn’t do both was excruciating.

Tierra Bolling connects with our clients in a way that few can.

As a child, Tierra watched both of her parents struggle with substance use, and she knows first-hand what it’s like to experience homelessness. Tierra’s early years taught her that hard times don’t define your future. Change is possible. 

"This doesn’t have to be what your life is like,” she reminds her clients.

Two years ago, Charles Johnson was staying in abandoned rowhouses in West Baltimore with no insurance, no income and nowhere to turn for health care needs. “I’ve been pulling my teeth out with a pair of pliers and a wash rag,” he said back then. “And I don’t have my top teeth now.”

At Health Care for the Homeless, Armstead Hetherington is a bit of a celebrity. On any given day, you’ll find him chatting or laughing with staff and clients or participating in one of several advocacy groups. His big smile and bright eyes make him a draw in any crowd. For years, Armstead shied away from being in the spotlight because he was missing most of his teeth.

Our pediatrics team members usually don’t sit still. Sitting still means they’re not out meeting people—and meeting people is key. So they get out in the community a few days a week and visit shelters across the city. Nurse Practitioner Judy Kandel and Social Worker Debbie Wilcox visit Booth House on Wednesday mornings. Here, they share an office and together, helping connect families who are staying in the shelter to care.

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