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“Pass the Mic” is a storytelling space featuring the voices and stories of people with a lived experience of homelessness. Read this story from family man Oscar Riaz, translated from the original Spanish.
Walt Mell’s blue eyes droop just a little but they have a twinkle to them. His whole face smiles when he talks. The last 20 or so of his 53 years have been hard. But what you notice right away about Walt is his levity. He goes to the ER for his regular nosebleeds, he says, and he comes to the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Baltimore County to bring cookies to the staff and "fatten them up."
"Don’t pre-judge. Just because a person doesn’t have a place to stay doesn’t mean they’re like a bad person. Come here and spend a day with me or somebody at the clinic and you’ll see exactly how people are: people."
To afford a two bedroom rental home on a minimum wage job in Maryland, you would have to work 115 hours a week.
"One thing that drew me to Health Care for the Homeless is their attention to all people from all walks of life, sharing that compassion and humanity. I hope to accomplish that with medicine in the future, too."
Sachin Aggarwal, Help Desk Volunteer
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.