Newsletter Summer 2015



Newsletter Summer 2015
Past Issues
Harry Tompson Center Summer 2015 News Translate
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August 2015
A message from our Director:
Can $40 End Someone's Homelessness?
Kevin, a guest of the Harry Tompson Center, recently asked to sign up for our "Make A
Wish" program. I told him we don't have a program called that, but he is adamant. He
wants us to make his wish come true ­ to get off the streets once and for all ­ to have his
own home. He really thinks we can do this for him.
We work very hard to make this wish come true for as many people as we can, as fast as
we can. Our case management team is fairly successful at this, with 202 of our case
management participants moving into housing over the last 2 years. Read that last
sentence again because it IS remarkable, isn't it? 202 people are no longer homeless,
made possible partly to the efforts of the Harry Tompson Center and its supporters!
The work of re­housing someone is usually a tedious process which can take months and
includes many factors: waiting for a spot to open, determining eligibility, completing
applications, finding an affordable unit, all the while hoping that the person can survive the
weather and ravages of homelessness until housing is obtained. But once in a blue moon, it happens very quickly, as in the case of Mama Patsy. Mama
Patsy was in rough shape. She was dirty and inebriated, had open sores on her
face, wore layers upon layers of clothing with 2 rosaries around her neck, and was tightly
clutching a teddy bear she called "Bob." She had become homeless due to an altercation
with her daughter who had evicted her. Since she appeared to be a senior, Mama Patsy was prioritized for our case management
program. Kip Barard, our lead Case Manager, and Jessica Lovell, our Tulane MSW
intern, immediately completed a "vulnerability" assessment and developed a plan of action
for her. Mama Patsy already had the two things that would ultimately end her homelessness: an
affordable housing unit (waiting for her in Lafayette) and a regular income (from Social
Security) to pay for the rent once she arrived there. However, she had used up her
monthly income while on the street and had also used up all her "free" nights of shelter.
She needed help paying for a bus ticket to Lafayette and obtaining overnight shelter until
her check came in. When I told her that we were going to help her, she burst into tears, saying that no one had
believed in her until now. We were able to shorten Mama Patsy's episode of
homelessness with only $40. Her nightmare was ended. Her wish had come true. Ten years after Katrina, we are still battling homelessness in our dear city, a reality for over
1,700 people on any given day. Just since January 1, over 3,600 people have walked
through our doors seeking help. This is an alarming number, but it does not deter us. With
your support, we will continue to make dreams come true: one person and one wish at a
time. I guess we do have a Make A Wish Program after all.
“Livin’ it up? Under the bridge” HTC Blog Post Written by Linda Penny
Note: We asked Ms. Penny to write about
her experiences living on the street for our
website Blog. She currently lives under a
nearby overpass. It seems the way God has maneuvered
me into this horrifying and offtimes
ludicrous situation was way too easy for
Him. I can’t figure out why I haven’t
fought Him tooth and nail this time, but I
still say, “Homeless in NOLA is a whole lot
better than my second marriage.”
With most people out here the common factor is fear. Will I get my I.D. replaced? Find a
room? Go hungry tonight? Will someone steal all my #+%!! again? Will one of those nut
jobs wanna fight? Hey man, can I get a cigarette? Only eleven days ‘till check day. The
closer to the first of the month, the scarecer the cigarette butts on the ground. Someone
else got to’em first. Gosh darn, dude. I don’t know how I’ve managed to never go without
while having no income and not asking for anything. Well, of course I know, just like
everybody else, the other common factor.The Lord is with us. And so are a whole bunch of
really good people who probably need a long rest.Thanks, y’all. It’s an adventure of a
lifetime. So……night guys, see ya tomorrow.
Volunteer Spotlight: Joe Clulee
Staff Spotlight: Kip Barad
Meet Kip Barard, Case Manager at the Harry Tompson
The smell of coffee brewing and the sound of pencils
Center, born and raised in the 7th Ward in New
Orleans. He has had a variety of jobs in the social
service and health care industries over the past 16
years, including jobs with Charity Hospital, Association
of Retarded Citizens and Odyssey House Louisiana, all
of which have prepared him well for the fast-paced
work environment at the Center.
sharpening signal to the entire staff that it's Thursday
This upcoming August, Kip will be celebrating his 2year anniversary working at the Harry Tompson
Center. His deep passion for his work shows in his
dedication to clients, his loving smile and the joy he
gets when he helps others. His favorite thing about
HTC is the friendly environment. He says, “Everyone is
welcoming - it’s like family here.”
Thursdays, however, Joe spends more than half of his
Since he started at HTC, he has found that he must
continuously assess and improve his professional skills
so that he can maintain the most effective service
practices. One of his goals when working with clients is
to not only assist them in getting housing but to see
and aid in the transformation within each of them, as
they go from being chronically homeless to living in
permanent supportive housing.
One of his favorite success stories pertained to a guest
named Elmer, who had been homeless for almost 5
years. Kip began working with Elmer in January of this
year and suspected that he was suffering from
dementia. After a concerted effort, Kip was able to
obtain a diagnosis of dementia for him and arrange for
a nursing home placement. Elmer has been there for 3
months and is doing well. Nothing brings Kip more joy
than helping chronically homeless persons get off the
street and into housing and most of all, watching them
transform into the best and most authentic version of
morning, and volunteer Joe Clulee has arrived.
Joe, a “West Banker” all his life, attended West Jefferson
Senior High and in his retirement, finds a lot of joy in
reading suspense novels and going to the gym. On
day volunteering at the Harry Tompson Center. This July
marks Joe's fourth year of service, who started
volunteering here because he felt the call of the Gospel to
feed the hungry and clothe the naked. He said, "God has
blessed me all of my life and I wanted to give back after I
Before guests shower and shave, they first stop by the
phone station to get their cellphones charged and to store
their bags for the day. With freshly sharpened pencils and
kindness on his face and in his heart, Joe greets the
guests by name and with an eagerness to help. When
asked how many phones he has charged over the last
four years, Joe did some quick calculations and then
cheerfully proclaimed, “Let’s say 4,000, and I’ve never lost
a phone!”
He keeps coming back each week because he loves
getting to know the guests. Whether he is handing out
hats lovingly knitted by members of his Golden Age Club,
plugging in a cellphone, or listening to another story by
Charley, one of his favorite pals from the Center, he does
so with a contagious smile and a big heart.
Joe would ultimately like to be "put out of his job" at the
Center because "that would mean there would be no
more homeless." Way to keep your eyes on the prize,
Joe! Until that time, we are so blessed to have you around
on Thursday mornings, uplifting the lives of guests and
staff alike!
Guest Spotlight: "Senator" Edward Holmes
Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina hit the City of New
Orleans driving out thousands of people including one
of our guests, Edward Holmes, who landed in
Memphis, Tennessee. Despite being a Southern
University college graduate with a degree in Criminal
Justice, Edward struggled with homelessness for 8
years, both in Tennessee and in Louisiana.
After returning to New Orleans in October of 2014,
Edward became a regular guest of the Center a year
later when staff learned of his chronic homelessness.
He shared that the hardest part about being homeless
is sleeping. “Not knowing who is standing over you.
And not knowing if a rat’s going to bite you. And the
Soon afterward, he became a participant in our Rapid
Rehousing Program jointly administered with Depaul
USA and made possible through a grant from UNITY of
Greater New Orleans. He has been happily living in his
own house in the 7th Ward since July of last year.
What’s his favorite thing about his own house? “Having
peace of mind. Being able to take a bath and read. Sit
in the backyard and barbeque. And thank God I’m not
outside in that heat.”
Edward spends his days looking for employment, going
to church, watching movies, reading and counting
down the days until August rolls around and
Secondline season starts up again. His self-proclaimed
greatest gift is his ability to sing. He loves to sing and
hang out in Armstrong Park or at the Aquarium. He
wants to be a productive member of the community
and offers encouragement to others currently still
homeless to "keep on pushing and don’t give up
because there is help in New Orleans. When I came
back, I had nobody but I stepped out on fate. Sure
enough, this place helped me."
Copyright © *|2015|* *|Harry
Tompson Center|*, All rights
The items on our wish list will enable us to provide a calm,
caring place where our guests are greeted with a smiling
face, a helping hand and free services to take care of their
basic needs.
Wish List
Men’s Athletic Socks
Men’s shoes, size 10 and higher
Small toiletries
Bike locks
Men’s belts
Baseball caps for summer heat
Water Bottles
Walking Canes
Ponchos and umbrellas
Copy paper and office supplies
Harry Tompson Center
Orleans, LA 70112
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Donor Testimonial:
By Brigid Brooks Every day on my drive to work I see people with signs
asking for money. In lieu of giving to an individual, I’ve
chosen to give my money to an organization that can truly
meet the needs of the homeless – the Harry Tompson
Center. My dollar will go further and help more people if
given to the center where they are able to pool their
money to truly meet the needs of the homeless. I live on
a budget, but know in my heart, that God expects me to
help even if in a small measure. Every little bit makes a
difference so I have chosen to put the Harry Tompson
Center on my monthly bill pay at my bank, where the
payment is automatically sent and I don’t have to
remember to do it each month. It’s easy to give when I know where my money is going
and what services are being provided.
Special thank you to photographer Sean Ambrose who supplied us with four of the photos
issued in this newsletter. (cover photo, volunteer and donor spotlight photos, and the
helping hands photo). HTC Staff:
Executive Director: Vicki Judice
Assistant Director: Emily Bussen
Summer Assistant Manager: Becca Lovano
Case Manager: Kip Barard
Case Manager Intern: Jessica Lovell
Center Assistant: Bailey Warfield, JV
Site Coordinator: Angela Owczarek, JV
Assistant Site Coordinator: Melvin Simmons
Center Assistant: Oscar Medema
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