A Champion For Those Dealing With Homelessness

I received my "fight" key about five months ago from a colleague. Stephanie is a young woman whom I admire greatly and is dogged in her determination to help men who are homeless rebuild their lives. She gave me the key, saying that I was an inspiration to her but, quite honestly, the feeling is entirely mutual. Her gift was prescient, because about a month later, a formerly long-time homeless man with whom we both had worked to get (and stay) housed, was tragically killed in a car accident. I came to rely on that key and its message in the days and weeks after his death. I am paying the key forward to my friend, Kathy, who is the embodiment of the word "fight." It is because of her vision and tenacity that the gentleman I mentioned above ultimately had a home to live in - and that 129 other chronically homeless men and women also have a home. Since 2008, Kathy has fought tirelessly to change the way our city sees and treats those living in homelessness. This is fitting because she has never backed down from a fight. We have a lot more work to do to end homelessness, but I feel like we can accomplish anything with Kathy's fight on our side. Like Stephanie, Kathy is an inspiration to me. There is an invisible red thread that unites all three of us and hopefully this key can serve as a physical embodiment of that connection and our shared work going forward.

- Caroline