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!


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

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.

“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.

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.


Theodore Maddox  Jr.