At our staff meeting today we remembered Jesse and Kate.
Tuesday was Kate’s 58th birthday. It was also the day she was found dead in an alley.
Our office has been rocked by a series of crises and we barely had time to process Jesse’s death when we learned about Kate. Jesse, a chronically homeless veteran, was very sweet, but he had his struggles. That he ultimately died in his apartment was testimony not only to the support our staff gave him, but to his own commitment to do better.
We knew Kate over a much longer period of time. She was among the earliest chronically homeless people that we helped into housing and she remained housed for 2 ½ years. What followed can only be described as a nightmare of unfolding events that resulted in her return to the streets and her progressive decline. We remained committed to helping her, often pushing against her resistance, up until the day before she died.
Jesse was sweet. Kate was salty. Jesse was quiet. Kate was loquacious.
Our lives were better for knowing them and they will be missed.