The Speakers

This page lists several of our speakers who have experienced homelessness. You are welcome to request any of the listed speakers for your event. We also have  speakers who are not listed on our website. All of our speakers have amazing stories to share, and we will work with you to create a powerful and informative event for you and your group. Thank you for your interest in the Speakers' Bureau!

Bonnie Lane
"I believe all people have talents, abilities and skills including my homeless friends. Let's empower them to rise up and succeed."
Bonnie had been homeless for about ten years in Baltimore.Her homelessness was due to Domestic Violence. Bonnie has stayed in her car, on a park bench and in shelters. Currently, she is active fighting homelessness and hunger Bonnie has spoken in many places including Hopkins, University of Maryland School of Social Work, Mc Daniel College and in front of Baltimore City Council. She offers a homeless interactive immersion presentation.
Lane also holds a dual Associate of Arts Degree in Public Relations & Journalism. She was a regular speaker for seven years and became coordinator in February of 2016.

-Our Speakers-

Ewan O. Meiklejohn
My name is Ewan. I was homeless due to Hepatitis C. I am now Hep C free thanks to Health Care for the Homeless. My mission is to tell people my story & for them to get tested & treated. Topics I speak about include health, street homelessness, being without a bed or shoes, growing up without birth parents and rescuing stray dogs & cats.
Charles Lovett

My name is Charles. I am a Marine Corp Veteran currently at Mc Vet. I am homeless now due to unemployment, depression and addiction. I speak about politics, economic, judicial, social, racial injustices and inequality.
Mary Beth Dobrzynski
"Being an advocate and a community educator for the  homeless will always be a part of "ME".  I will continue to share reflections of my journey via this blog.  I am a Face of Homelessness."
From Fayetteville, NY to Baltimore,  MD via Boston,  MA (college) and Washington,  DC (26 yes with the Federal Govt).  Then, homeless from 11/2012-???  I will be graduating soon to being independent once more. I will have the "key" to "my" apartment in the Station North A&E District. How sweet it sounds! Elated, Yes!  Scary, Yes! Frightening,  Yes! I once had a salary and a home. In an instant everything changed. I then had a motel room and some $$.  Emergency shelter, state and federal income (disability for mental disorder)  transitional housing and then, my own apartment. Not just a room and shared bathroom. My apartment,  all 715 square feet.  Graduation is a New Start even @ 59 years "young".  It's been humbling being homeless. I am blessed that I have made it to Graduation.  I look forward to looking back and sharing the story of my journey with others.
Michele Faye Williams
The causes of my homelessness were loss of employment, addiction and domestic violence. Topics I speak on include employment loss, sexual harassment in the workplace & homeless shelters, drugs, alcohol, rape, domestic violence, child molestation and deliverance.

Anthony Williams
"Love bears all things."
I am currently homeless at 52 years old.  I speak on all aspects of homelessness including mental health. Organizing is a challenge. I have done a lot of squatting for housing.

Arnold T. Williams
I speak about many aspects of homelessness. I can tell you how hard it is to get a place.

"We were born to be real, not perfect."
I am formerly homeless due to family issues.
 I speak about homeless youth and housing.

James Barnes
My name is James Barnes and I was born and raised in Havre De Grace, MD, about 35 miles north of Baltimore. At a young age, I started to get in trouble with the law and before I knew it hard time hit me. It took three times before I finally got myself together to seek help. Now, I have been released and I am still seeking help but also giving back by sharing what I have learned. I was released to the home of a family member, who, because of the rules of his housing program, could only keep me for 2 weeks – after more than 20 years behind bars. It is now 2 years after my release and I moved into housing about 4 months ago. One thing that I have definitely learned is patience. I ask for your patience with me. I speak about homelessness, The Maryland Judicial System and diabetes. I also give Injustice Walk tours.

Armstead Hetherington

I was homeless at age 19. I have slept everywhere during that time.

Bill Price

"It's Me!"

Lack of housing caused me to become homeless. I talk about being injured and no longer being able to do the work I used to. I really like the questions the audience asks about homelessness. I will answer them all.

Jesse Worthen "Country"

Prison changed my life. I speak about being homeless and doing the right things to better yourself. I also am an Injustice Walk

I am currently homeless due to addiction. I speak about addiction,living on the street, life in a "bando" and pretty much anything dealing with homeless life.

Aushaurd "AJ" Wilson

I was homeless for most of my life. I stayed in shelters, couch surfed, almost anywhere you could name. The topic I know firsthand is youth homelessness.

I speak about the reality of homelessness and what it is like for me.
I am currently homeless.

“My name is not ‘lay down and die quietly’. My name is Brandon, and this is my day!”

For someone as sweet and sensitive as Brandon, he sure does have a booming voice when he gets on the stage for each Speakers’ Bureau event. He quickly catches everyone’s attention as his voice echoes throughout the room each time he speaks. Brandon has gone to several speaking engagements, including ones at Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame. He nailed his speech at the Night of Monologues, as he  connected Julia Dins more's “My Name is Not ‘Those People’” poem to his own life by  emphasizing that his own homelessness should not take away from his power, strength,  passion, and freedom. During our Wednesday meetings, Brandon is the first one to  volunteer reading his piece aloud and the first one to help others who are struggling with their writing or speaking. His photo “Orderly Disorder” was featured at our most recent Speakers’ Bureau event at the Cork Gallery. Although Brandon only joined the group in late spring, he has quickly become an essential member of the group and advocate for the homeless in Baltimore.
"This aint my fight. It's our struggle. Homelessness."
I became homeless due to feeding, educating, advocacy and a documentary. Currently, I live in a basement. Topics I speak about include the courts, mental health and funding resources.
John Gaither
"There are no disposable human beings. Together  we can make the Congress, state representatives, governors, city councils and mayors see that the public will not rest until HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT!"

I was formally homeless, after being housed several years later. I decided to venture out & found The Faces of Homeless Speakers Bureau meeting. Realizing the potential of this organization,I joined in the fight for social justice. To help change perspectives of the homeless to the unsuspecting public. For far too long the government & the media dogma
hounds have fed us misconceptions & misdirection. It is my hope as well work to educate to invigorate action to end warehousing of people & sweeping the problem under the society rug. This no slogan this is a movement, The American people believe in Humanity over profit. John also leads Injustice Walks.
Mark Schumann
" Homelessness is something I have experienced, but it does not define who I am."

 I was born in California in a psychiatric hospital and taken from mother only to be adopted by an abusive family at age of 3.  I first used alcohol at age of 7 to deal with the pain. I ran away from home at age 14 and lived in an orange grove for a while.  I have worked a variety of jobs over the years including: equipment operator, welder, truck/bus driver, group supervisor, youth counselor, pantry chef, sous chef, kitchen/restaurant manager, grocery store (all positions including manager), meat cutter, and meat dept. manager. I have lived in 9 states and been to 48 states.  I have had serious mental illness and substance abuse problems which eventually interfered with my ability to work and function.  I’ have lived on the streets, in different shelters, and I am now housed in my own place. I enjoy photography  I am also very active in advocacy work. 

Tony Simmons
“The people that I met at JHR needed someone to step up and take a stand. Mostly everyone was scared to do so because they needed to worry about getting a bed that night. I have a bed to sleep in, so I stepped up for them.”
 Go to Healthcare for the Homeless, Our Daily Bread, Beans and Bread, or any homeless service provider around the area and ask the residents if they know Tony. The odds are high that they will know him. He is certainly well known to the homeless community in Baltimore. Tony was high school valedictorian and a Marine Corps member. What makes Tony so amazing is the fact that he has a home to go to, yet he chooses to stay at the shelters each night in order to protect those homeless individuals who are too scared or don’t have the power to advocate for themselves. He loves doing outreach work and finds the work he does at the shelters to be most fulfilling. Plus, he can’t stress enough that the people at the shelters, unlike those in his neighborhood at home, are real. Since he has all of the information about resources for the homeless, he is always on the lookout for those vulnerable individuals that may need help. He is a facilitator for Word on the Street, speaker for the Speakers’ Bureau, and a member of the Residential Council. It is no surprise that his heart is in the right place, as he lives each day by the quote “If a man asks for your shirt, give your coat.
Tony leads Injustice Walks.
Damien Haussling

“I  am living proof of what a lot of people wouldn’t think of homelessness.”

If anyone has any preconceived stereotypes of the homeless, make sure they meet Damien. He will dispel any stereotypes you have. He got an 800 on the math section of his SATs in high school. He double majored in both Math and Psychology in college and was even accepted to a PhD program for Statistics. One of the many reasons Damien’s speeches have been such a success for the Speakers’ Bureau is that his story couldn’t be  further from the stereotypes that surround homelessness. He is living proof that homelessness can strike anyone at any given time.  He enjoys telling his story because he is able to meet new people, expel stereotypes.  Damien currently serves on Baltimore's Journey Home Board.  Damien also leads Injustice Walks.
     James Crawford Jr.

        "We all die a little when a homeless person dies."
I’m a veteran with an honorable discharge, I am a college graduate, and I was the vice president of the under writing department at an insurance company.  I had a wife, children, and a house…living the “American Dream”.  I was training for a triathlon when I was hit by a tractor trailer while out on a run.  The company I worked for moved out of state while I was still recovering and I lost my insurance.  I used up all of my savings until I had to sell my house, then I became homeless.  I had paid into the system and when I needed it I could not get any help.  I got connected with a VA representative in HarrisburgPA and they sent me to MCVET here in Baltimore, from them I was able to get the services I needed. Now I advocate for homeless people that don’t have insurance and who don’t make a livable wage.

Mat Meezy

"Do or do not. There is no try."

I am currently homeless due to a lack of employment and youth programs. Topics I speak on include: politics, history, critical race theory, government, outreach, community strategic planning and community collaboration.

Kareem Boyd
Alcohol and my inability to follow rules caused my homelessness. I am currently housed. Topics I speak about include drugs, alcohol, mental health and what it's like in homeless shelters.

George Marsh

I speak about what's it really like to be homeless. I am housed now through the help of HCH.

Bill Dickinson
“A lot of people say that they will do this or do that once they leave prison, but many don’t follow through and do it. I had said that I was going to put my thoughts out there about the injustice I have experienced, and I did just that. And it feels great.”

 Bill is not the slightest bit afraid to talk about his experiences with the “department of corruptions”. Both Word on the Street and the Baltimore Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau have given him the opportunity to speak out about the injustice he has faced throughout his life. Bill is incredibly involved in WOTS as a writer, photographer, and vendor. He even sent his article about the “department of corruptions” back to his prison in hopes that the warden will read it and realize how serious Bill is about getting the word about the truth there. Bill calls Word on the Street a huge blessing, as the money he has made from selling the paper as a vendor has paid for his truck driving school and new cell phone. Bill is also a speaker for the Speakers’ Bureau, and has traveled to various colleges and speaking engagements to tell his story. His favorite speaking engagement was for the Center for Talented Youth program at Johns Hopkins University, where he felt that the kids were touched and moved to find a career in helping people. They treated him like a star, and of course he loved having such an impact on their lives. Bill has experienced a tremendous amount of injustice through the Baltimore prison system, and wants nothing more than to get the word out about it.   
Sidney Bond

Hi, my name is Sidney.This is my story.I became homeless after losing my job..I had just enough money to sustain me for a month.After that month was over I lost my apartment. I stayed in city shelter under horrific conditions.for two and a half years then became an advocate for the homeless because of a trip to Annapolis.Since then I've been involved in so many organizations especially the Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau.I also attend Harbor City Unlimited and help organize them to feed the homeless.I'm also partially responsible for the United Workers media team to do a presentation .I've also done a presentation for Housing Our Neighbors.

Theodore Maddox  Jr.