Rest in Peace Brother, You are Home.
We were saddened to hear about the passing yesterday of Michael Stoops, with the National Coalition for the Homeless in D.C. We pass on our love and sympathy to his families, paternal, and the national family who like me, were inspired, supported, and led by his heart and passion.
I first met Michael in 1990 when we started our first “Tent City Stand Down” event. Over the next 25 years he returned many times to our event and became a friend, ally, and brother in arms, always quietly powerful, always precise.
To his credit, the last time we chatted actually resulted in 288 homeless veterans in Michigan getting housed, and counting. He referred Dr. Chad Audi from the Detroit Rescue Mission to me when Chad wanted strategies on dealing with the HPRP changes. I spent over an hour with the gentleman and at the end he asked so what we do? I told him we had a new homeless veterans program and had in fact just gotten a call from the Detroit VA needing help, and that I was going to contact a guy named Mitch Albom to see if he would help.
Turns out Dr. Audi handles all of Mitch’s charity work and said he thought Mitch would love to help, and in fact, would likely want to give us $15,000 to start the program in Michigan. Each year Mitch has continued to contribute and each time we get a check I have given a nod and prayer to Michael who made it happen.
We met up last time I was in D.C. for the White House Summit and I snapped this photo (below). It made me smile this morning. I was thinking he is now one of those in picture looking over OUR shoulders and supporting all of us he has inspired. Onward my friend, you are home.