Coaltion for the Homeless

Annise Parker opens up on her experience with homelessness: A rescue inspires a mayor

Annise Parker opens up on her experience with homelessness: A rescue inspires a mayor

Few would expect that Mayor Annise Parker knows so well the plight of the homeless. But she shared her poignant story of rescuing a young man from living on the streets with the 350 guests attending the annual luncheon of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston and Harris County.

Parker and her life partner, Kathy Hubbard, took in the young man, now their son, in an effort that afforded them unusual understanding and empathy for those on the streets. For her efforts on behalf of Houston's homeless, Parker was presented the Friends of the Homeless — Peg Dudar Individual Advocate Award in ceremonies at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown.

“This is personal for me because it affected my family and affects the lives of so many others,” Parker said. “I appreciate the award and everyone at the coalition for their support. We are a community and together we will help those most in need of life’s basic necessities.”

 “This is personal for me because it affected my family and affects the lives of so many others." 

Among those applauding the mayor were three of the coalition co-founders — Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, the Rev. Bill Lawson and former Harris County Judge Jon Lindsay. They were on board when the coalition was formed more than 30 years ago.

Good news for the effort at fighting homelessness was reported by coalition president and CEO Marilyn L. Brown. Preliminary results of the Point-in-Time Homeless Count show that homelessness is down 27 percent from January 2011 to January 2013.

Sharing the spotlight with the mayor were Achievers of the Year Shane Schlemeyer and Twaunette Sharpe, both of whom were previously homeless and now engaged members of the Houston community. 

Coalition supporters on hand included board members Stephen L. Williams, Nancy Frees Fountain, Thomas Verhagen, the Rev. Rudy Rasmus and Linda K. May plus David Ruiz, Diane Hasell Englet, Lucretia Ahrens, Mandy Chapman Semple and Central Houston Inc. president Bob Eury, who summarized the coalition's 30-plus year history.

28, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Tony Lindsay, Mayor Annise Parker, Jon Lindsay
Tony Lindsay, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Jon Lindsay at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
26, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Ashley Verhagen,Thomas Verhagen
Ashley and Thomas Verhagen at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
2, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Marilyn L. Brown, Stephen L. Williams, Donna Herron
Marilyn L. Brown, from left, Stephen L. Williams and Donna Herron at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
1, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Barbara Buxton, Delores Scott
Barbara Buxton, left, and Delores Scott at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
3, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Nyla K. Woods, Frees Fountain
Nyla K. Woods, left, and Nancy Frees Fountain at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
25, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Susan Schlemeyer, Shane Schlemeyer
Susan and Shane Schlemeyer at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
20, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Rudy Rasmus, Steven Kirland, Keith Bynam
The Rev. Rudy Rasmus, from left, Steven Kirkland and Keith Bynam at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
9, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Joe Fuentes, Caroline Zorn Pickens, Dana Hogan
Joe Fuentes, from left, Caroline Zorn Pickens and Dana Hogan  at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
8, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Joanie Haley, Jennifer L. Evans
Joanie Haley, left, and Jennifer L. Evans at the Coalition for the Homeless luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
28, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Tony Lindsay, Mayor Annise Parker, Jon Lindsay
26, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Ashley Verhagen,Thomas Verhagen
2, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Marilyn L. Brown, Stephen L. Williams, Donna Herron
1, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Barbara Buxton, Delores Scott
3, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Nyla K. Woods, Frees Fountain
25, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Susan Schlemeyer, Shane Schlemeyer
20, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Rudy Rasmus, Steven Kirland, Keith Bynam
9, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Joe Fuentes, Caroline Zorn Pickens, Dana Hogan
8, Homeless Coalition luncheon April 2013 Joanie Haley, Jennifer L. Evans