Staff and Client Advocates in Action

Advocacy doesn't stop with Lobby Day.

Health Care for the Homeless staff members and clients testify and meet regularly with lawmakers in Annapolis and at City Hall to advance our advocacy priorities. See what they've been advocating on below and check back often to see the latest.

Jeff Garrett shares statewide policy priorities on homelessness

November 8, 2017

Health Care for the Homeless client, advocate and member of the State Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) Jeff Garrett spoke before the Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness in Annapolis to present the ICH’s 2017 policy priorities. Jeff informed legislators—including chairwoman Mary Washington, the Delegate from Baltimore City—about the legislative issues of importance, including a passionate defense of the HOME Act, a longtime priority of advocates statewide.

Nilesh Kalyanaraman affirms the need for outreach in Baltimore County

Baltimore County Council, August 29, 2017

Chief Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman fought to keep the doors open to Prologue, Inc.—a community outreach facility that helps individuals experiencing homelessness—by testifying in support of a much-needed loan from the Baltimore County Council. Read his testimony here. Health Care for the Homeless client and advocate Bonnie Lane also testified. 

Athena Haniotis presents on helping women who have experienced trauma

June 2017

Health Care for the Homeless client and advocate Athena Haniotis presented on the importance of creating safe spaces for women experiencing trauma at the National Health Care for the Homeless conference in Washington, D.C. 

Nisrin Abdel-Rahman and Elizabeth Skates speak on the importance of dental care

May 24, 2017

Health Care for the Homless clients Nisrin Abdel-Rahman and Elizabeth Skates share about the importance of dental care at a conversation with Mary Otto, author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America, at the National Museum of Dentistry. 

Eric Colchamiro speaks up to protect Baltimore City workers

May 18, 2017

Director of Government Relations Eric Colchamiro submitted testimony in support of city council bill 17-0048, a piece of legislation that would protect workers by requiring incoming subcontractors to keep them on payroll for a 90-day transition period when a service contract changes hands between companies. Read Eric’s testimony here.

Grady Butler testifies about the importance of Medicaid

May 15, 2017

Health Care for the Homeless client Grady Butler testified at a Medicaid townhall hosted by Representatives Elijah Cummings and John Sarbanes.

Vanessa Borotz engages clients to advocate for TDAP funding

March 22 and 23, 2017

Vanessa supported the work of our agency, along with the Maryland Alliance for the Poor coalition, by engaging with Health Care for the Homeless clients around Temporary Disability Assistance (TDAP) and what increased funding would mean to them. As part of the 2017 budget debate, this insight was used to inform state lawmakers and helped negotiate a $2 million increase in TDAP funding. 

Thomas Stack fights for better dental coverage for low-income adults

Maryland House of Delegates:​ Health and Government Operations Committee - March 14, 2017

Director of Dental Services Thomas Stack fought for low income adult Marylanders to have better access to dental care by submitting written testimony in support of HB 1158, Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Comprehensive Dental Benefits for Adults - Authorization. Read his full testimony here

Kim Riopelle and Joseph Funn seek greater equality in housing 

Maryland House of Delegates - March 9, 2017

Ahead of the upcoming Housing and Real Property Subcommittee vote on the HOME Act, supportive Housing Coordinator Kim Riopelle and client Joseph Funn met with Delegate Beidle, and staff for Delegates Knotts, Cassilly and Holmes. With housing discrimination continuing to weigh heavy on our city and our neighbors, Kim and Joseph turned attention on the bill's much-needed mandate that would require landlords to accept affordable housing vouchers.

Nilesh Kalyanaraman helps inform House on state's opioid crisis ​

Maryland House of Delegates:​ Health and Government Operations work session - March 6, 2017

As Maryland lawmakers debate harm reduction bills in a work group session aimed at reducing opioid overdoses and use, our Chief Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman offered insight into the medication naloxone and other ways to curb drug overdose.

Kevin Lindamood defends Medicaid expansion during state of uncertainty  

Maryland House of Delegates: Health and Human Resource Subcommittee - March 2, 2017

Amidst the uncertainty of Medicaid's future, Health Care for the Homeless CEO Kevin Lindamood trekked to Annapolis to impress on lawmakers the essential role Medicaid expansion has played in Maryland. "In my 20 years at the intersection of health and homelessness, I've never seen a policy more beneficial than Maryland's Medicaid expansion," he told the General Assembly's Health and Human Resources Subcommittee. 

Gerardo Benavides pushes for a higher minimum wage

Baltimore City Council: Labor Committee - March 1, 2017

As our disability outreach assistance (SOAR) specialist, Gerardo Benavides supported a $15 minimum wage, arguing that “if housing is health care, then we must devise solutions that allow for fair access to pay for that housing, including raising the minimum wage.” Read his testimony here.

Kevin Lindamood brings Health Care for the Homeless story to minimum wage debate

Baltimore City Council: Labor Committee - March 1, 2017

Our President and CEO Kevin Lindamood joined advocates and City Council members late into the night in the debate over whether to raise Baltimore's the minimum wage to $15 an hour (Council Bill 17-0018). 

Lawanda Williams hits Annapolis to discuss the HOME Act

Maryland House of Delegates - Febraury 27, 2017 

Director of Housing Services Lawanda Williams took her experience running housing services at Health Care for the Homeless to Annapolis as she met with Delegates Cory McCray and Jay Jalisi on the HOME Act (HB 172). 

Anthony Williams speaks at annual Lobby Day

February 23, 2017

Health Care for the Homeless client and advocate Anthony Williams spoke about the importance of housing as health care at the Behavioral Health Care Coalition rally on our Annual Lobby Day.

Nilesh Kalyanaraman on safe consumption sites 

Maryland House of Delegates: Health and Government Operations Committee - February 21, 2017

Nilesh testified on HB 519, the bill that would allow safe consumption sites to provide people with sterile equipment, medical monitoring and access to sustained treatment to prevent drug overdose and death. Read what Nilesh had to say here.

Vanessa Borotz advocates for rental assistance program reform

Maryland House of Delegates: Environment and Transportation Committee - February 14, 2017

Our resident community organizer and client relations specialist Vanessa Borotz advocated for much-needed reform to rental assistance programs. Read her entire testimony here